Creation Myths by Elvis PerkinsRelease date: October 2, 2020
Label: Mir/Petaluma Records
Elvis Perkins has been around for a bit, 13 years or so. Since he appeared, he immediately started making a name for himself. Ash Wednesday, his debut, especially left an impression with the critics. On his four albums or so, he invaded that nether land between pop and essentially music that you have to dwell a bit on. Music that goes down so easily into your ears but still makes you think a bit. Something people credit artists like Kevin Morby these days.
But Perkins was always in those realms, as his Creation Myths, his latest album shows. Latest in the sense that it has just been released. But the songs Perkins presents here are not essentially new. What he did was go down and sift through the collection of his unrecorded (or maybe unfinished?) songs and decided to finally give them their true (deserved) shape.
What we get is a set of quite sublime songs that slowly seep under your skin and stay there. It is like those Go-Betweens songs (in spirit) that have both head and tail, subtly complex changes that still make them utterly listenable. Add to that some truly intricate arrangements, like on ‘See Monkey’ or ‘I Know You Know’. Or, should I say, practically all of them.
“I wrote these songs when I was rather inexperienced and untested in terms of romantic relationships”, he explains. “I don’t know who the people are in these songs, for the most part. I’m not even sure if there are real people that I’m singing to or singing for or being inspired by… There’s a certain bravery in some of the lyrics. I look at them and think ‘Where did I get off declaring these things in a song?’ The answer is that I just didn’t think about it.“
Actually, you do get the feeling that the songs on Creation Myths were written instinctively, out of subconscious somewhere. Instinctively and subconsciously by somebody who proves to be quietly an excellent artist.