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Elvis Perkins

A singer and songwriter whose music is both literate and impressionistic, fusing elements of contemporary folk, Americana, and indie rock, Elvis Perkins seemed destined to follow a career in the arts, though not necessarily as a musician. Born on February 9, 1976, Perkins was the son of actor Anthony Perkins and photographer and actress Barry Berenson, and spent much of his childhood hopscotching between Los Angeles and New York City. Perkins took saxophone lessons when he was a youngster, and in high school he took up the guitar, for a while studying with Prescott Niles of the Knack. He played in rock bands for a spell, but over time he became more interested in acoustic music, and took up the classical guitar, a passion that merged comfortably with his new enthusiasm for writing poetry. In 1992, Anthony Perkins died from AIDS-related pneumonia, and Barry Berenson was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Perkins wrote a song cycle about family and loss, informed by the unusual passing of his parents and titled Ash Wednesday. Perkins turned Ash Wednesday into his first album, which he released independently in 2006, while XL Recordings gave it a more widely distributed reissue in 2007. Perkins assembled a band to support him as he toured following Ash Wednesday's release; calling the group Elvis Perkins in Dearland; the musicians included Brigham Brough on bass, Wyndham Boylan-Garnett on keyboards and guitar, and Nicholas Kinsey on drums and percussion. Elvis Perkins in Dearland also became the name of Perkins' second album, released in 2009, which displayed a stronger country influence than the debut. That same year, Perkins issued an EP, Doomsday, but after that he cut ties with XL Recordings, and little was heard from him for the next several years. In 2015, he returned with his long-awaited third album, I Aubade, which returned to the oblique lyrical style of Ash Wednesday, matched to melodies informed by lo-fi indie music and freak folk. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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matthelmscre a m
Where are you Elvis?
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I love the 'Elvis Perkins in Dearland' album. I can listen to it repeatedly over and over and not get tired of it. It's a very sad album dealing with death and loss, but also has a hopeful feeling to it. It's helped me get through some of my personal struggles. I wish he would do another album.
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He sounds a lot like the singer in Neutral Milk Hotel
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The song Shampoo was the one that made me a fan of his. I like the way he sings - he sort of halts in between singing on Shampoo.... Sweep up!
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katylyst
I love this one... Makes me teary.
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Loving it!!
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Great. To me this stuff is classic.
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cmart201
Ash Wednesday... so good! So his dad died of AIDS and his mom was on a plane during 9/11. No wonder his stuff is so beautiful and sad.
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..never heard of him but interesting for sure!
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totally agree that this is WAY neutral milk hotel esque...the trumpets, and singing swords... should be a "similar artist" suggestion. (STILL a good song)
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quinn_dan
I love this song and would love it played at my funeral.
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Seconded, 66pixie.
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:)
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you mean as opposed to the rest of us immortals?

shrug.
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Why is it that every amazing musician dies?
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His voice is VERY similar to Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel!! That should be added to the recommendati o n s for similar artists.
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Thank you NPR for introducing me to the new Elvis!
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chickengrrl
I thank the music gods every day for introducing me to Elvis Perkins.
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They compared him to Leonard Cohen in his description. That's really not accurate. But he's good.
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Just wonderful.
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First extraordinar y thing Pandora has given me in the 4 hours i've been using it
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Elvis Perkins. Poor guy has a lot to live up to with a name like that. Son of Anthony and Berry? Is Berry a woman? Anyway.
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jgoldenberg1 0
I made a station off of The Old Canes and half of the songs on his album Ash Wednesday came up. At first I didn't like it until I really listened to it. Amazing songs. 5/5.
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Yes... brilliant. Brilliantly different.
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bonnie.matte r n
Amazing how artists like this are still "under the radar." Absolutely brilliant!
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:o amazing!
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danpaquin
What a great time for music. The future feels wide open with artists such as Elvis here. We'll look back 20 years from now and say WOW!

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