Elvis Perkins, “I Aubade”
Nearly six years after the release of his sophomore album Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Elvis Perkins has returned with a vastly more minimal third full-length. Largely recorded by himself at home, it sounds as if Perkins is deliberately avoiding the flowing melodies that defined his first two records. In fact, it’s not until the fourth song, “& Eveline,” that the singer-songwriter (who shed the Dearland band for this record) relents and gives in to a proper tune—the tracks before (and many after) are more half-ideas that stop just shy, presumably intentionally, of being fully-formed, even though they are still striking. And while “The Passage of the Black Gene” is haunting in its sparse, simple semi-majesty, too often on I Aubade it feels like some of Perkins’s signature structure is lacking to make these compositions truly whole. Yet that’s clearly by design—let the beauty and spontaneity of these songs sink in, and they may just consume you after all.