Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Folk-rocker Elvis Perkins "freewheels through" some old time Americana in his new album, and while he still wrestles with ghosts, he is more spirited than morose.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Elvis Perkins knows how to wring beauty from tragedy, said David Marchese in Spin. On 2007’s Ash Wednesday, he eulogized his father, actor Anthony Perkins, who died of complications from AIDS, and his mother, who perished in the 9/11 attacks. On Elvis Perkins in Dearland, once again his “loss is our gain.” The bespectacled, sweater-vest-wearing folk-rocker still wrestles with ghosts, but this album is more spirited than morose. Dressed up in the sounds of old-time Americana, Perkins’ “wary resolve and shaky will end up hopeful rather than despairing.” Perkins gradually lightens up as he “freewheels through American music traditions,” said Melissa Maerz in Blender. He lets loose New Orleans brass on “Doomsday” and churns out a ballad with “Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville.” On the waltzing “Shampoo,” he muses, “I don’t want to die / However dark tomorrow may be.” With an aesthetic steeped in the past, Perkins has emerged as a new kind of troubadour.



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