Powerful Ballad from Vera Sola

While Vera Sola is just now preparing her debut solo effort, she’s been working in the industry as part of Elvis Perkins’ band for some time. Perhaps that explains why her first single sounds so accomplished; it wears years of musicianship in its fabric. Her voice has this quality that seems to suspend her notes in mid air, with various instruments delicately layered behind…from slow-tempo drums to forlorn strings. It’s a pretty enchanting number, from start to finish…again, remarkable considering this is her first solo outing. Look for her debut, Shades, to drop in November of this year.

 

It’s Been Awhile, Elvis Perkins

elvezHas it really been five years since we last heard new music from Elvis Perkins?  I’ll excuse the writer, as he’s not been graced with the easiest of lives, but I definitely missed his songwriting.  I love the stripped down effect that initially carries this song through, though I could easily do without some of the extemporaneous noises that fill its final seconds.  Still, there’s a familiarity and warmth in voice that’s always made his songs rewarding for listeners. He’s got a new effort called I Aubade, which comes out on February 24th via MIR Records.

Friday In Austin! (11/13)

revivaltour2009Friday is another one of those rare (or not so rare) days in Austin that comes around every once and a while that blows the minds of us music types.  The day is so jammed full of music goodness that we are dedicating a whole post just to Friday’s shows.  Which one are you headed to?

The Parish: Elvis Perkins & A. A. Bondy @ 8pm for $14.

Mohawk: Bishop Allen and Darwin Deez outside @ 8pm.  Tickets for $10.

Stubbs: Indie supergroup Monsters of Folk @ 7pm for just $35.

Beerland: Local boys Frantic Clam, Visitors, Basic & Hotel Hotel for only $5 @ door.

Austin Music Hall: Mastodon, Dethklok, High on Fire, & Converge @ 6:30 for $35.

Red 7: The Revival Tour with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Jim Ward (Sparta), Frank Turner, Possessed By Paul James, & Jon Snodgrass and Chad Price (Drag the River) for only $10.

More New Music From A.A. Bondy

Last month we dropped a new A.A. Bondy track on you and now that the release date for his new album draws nearer, we have another incredible new song for you to check out.  This one is called “I Can See the Pines are Dancing” and will also appear on upcoming album When the Devil’s Loose due out September 1st on Fat Possum Records.  Also don’t forget that Mr. Bondy will be dropping by Austin on November 13th in support of Elvis Perkins at the Parish.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/06-I-Can-See-the-Pines-are-Dancing.mp3]

Download: A.A. Bondy – I Can See the Pines are Dancing [MP3]

New Music From Elvis Perkins

2007_10_elvisperkinsElvis Perkins is a busy man who continues to put out new music with his recently formed band Deerland.  Mr. Perkins and the boys are continuing their hard work strategy with another EP dropping this fall called The Doomsday EP.  First single from the EP, “Slow Doomsday”, is available below.  You can get your hands on the new material October 20th via XL Recordings.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/06-slow-doomsday-1.mp3]

Download: Elvis Perkins in Deerland – Slow Doomsday [MP3]

5/11 Elvis Perkins @ The Parish

ep_03On a quiet Monday evening, The Parish continued its recent tradition of well-produced shows as they put on a solid bill, with ATH favorites Other Lives and Elvis Perkins joined by his new band Dearland, supplying the talent. An orchestral grab bag of instrumentation ranging from cellos to trombones, to flutes, a harmonium and organs were laid upon the stage foreshadowing an ambitious evening of unpolluted musical ability in front of a very attentive audience.  Follow the jump to continue reading our review.

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Elvis Perkins @ The Parish (5/11)

elvisperkinsElvis Perkins will be bringing his brand new band Deerland to The Parish on Monday for what should be a nice evening of music.  Mr. Perkins will be joined on the stage by Oklahomans Other Lives.  Doors for this show are at 8pm.  Tickets are on sale now for the low low price of $14.  Here’s latest single from Elvis Perkins in Deerland “Shampoo”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/elvis-perkins-in-dearland-shampoo.mp3]

Download: Elvis Perkins in Deerland – Shampoo [MP3]

SXSW Watchlist: Elvis Perkins

2007_10_elvisperkinsElvis Perkins has persevered through a lot of adversity in his lifetime.  His father, famous actor Anthony Perkins, passed away while Elvis was still in high school and his mother perished on famous American Airlines Flight 11 during the tragic September 11th attacks.  Most individuals would succumb to such tragic losses, but Elvis Perkins pressed on to create a beautiful piece of music in his debut album Ash Wednesday out in 2007.  That album masterfully captured a lot of the feelings towards those events and the aftermath in our country.  Fast forward to this year and Elvis has moved on to release new album Elvis Perkins in Deerland which came out this week.  His music falls in well with some of the best singer-songwriter material coming out today and should find a place in a quiet corner of your home.  Let’s hope Elvis keeps making his beautiful music.

You can catch Elvis Perkins with his band Deerland on these dates during SXSW:

Thursday March 19th – Auditorium Shores Stage 6pm

Wednesday March 18th – Austinist Party @ Mohawk 12 – 6pm

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/elvis_whileyouweresleeping.mp3]

Download: Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping [MP3]

Elvis Perkins in Dearland – s/t

elvis

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Elvis Perkins finally has a band to back up his soft-spoken folk leanings, but that isn’t too say that he’s moved entirely away from his original sound; in fact, he hasn’t traveled that far from where he once began his journey into the musical world.  His latest release, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, is just another reminder of how capable a songsmith the man truly is.

Opening the album is “Shampoo,” which starts off with a mellow little progression on the acoustic guitar, as an organ fills out the background.  Suddenly, the band kicks in, and Elvis’ voice comes sweeping in with a slightly more country-fied tinge than most listeners might be used to at this point in his career.  It’s a testament to the man’s capabilities when he’s backed by a complete band, and it’s a phenomenal start, nearly a perfect song.

The next few tracks find Elvis walking the lines of his past, as he slows the numbers down so his voice can unfold before listeners.  You can tell that he’s yearning for more, reaching for more with his voice, which is perhaps the reason why he brought in a complete band for the recording process of this album. Steady percussion fills in the space where Elvis previously was forced to fill it all with his voice.

His trademark six minute song, “Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville” is just another example of how wonderfully he can craft a song.  Simple strumming typically doesn’t have the lasting power to garner your interest through six minutes, but when accompanied by his voice, and his attention to lyrical details, you find that you are drawn into the depths of the song.  Horn arrangements added midway only build upon the already sound structure of this song.

Each time you listen to his voice, it seems to waver just a bit, much like Devandra Banhart, but with a less aggravating persona behind it all.  It’s surely the focal point of each song, but his ability to maneuver in and out of different pitches is what makes the entire set of songs listenable, as he clearly understand exactly when to pull back.  It’s an emotional attack on the listener, and it succeeds on almost every level.  Listening, your drawn into the strength of the songs, but your mostly attracted to his voice, and that feeling is certainly not fleeting.

You’ll find that every song along the way has extra details added in to create an ornate composition.  The folk stylings are merely just the beginning, as the backing band here has fulfilled the promise of Elvis Perkins, pushing his songs far beyond anything he’s written to date, and the listeners will be rewarded time and time again, as each listen unfolds new little secrets.

Holiday Happenings

A Whole slew of music related happenings went down during the week of our holiday vacation.  Here’s a quick rundown with some links to find your way:

Black Keys front man Dan Aurbach has a new song from his solo debut streaming over on Stereogum.  How is this not The Black Keys again?

Daytrotter brings us more oustanding live sets from Noah & The Whale and Annuals.

Download a free EP from Bug Lung Baby on the RCRD LBL website.

Elvis Perkins is streaming new tunes from his new album due out this spring.

WOXY is offering a double album of free digital downloads featuring some of the best performances in their studio this year.

Download a free Ragged Claws EP from the band’s website.

Marc Mallman has a best of 1998-2008 compilation availabe to download from his website.

The Black Lips gave us new song “Starting Over” from their 2009 album 200 Million Thousand.  Get it below.

Lastly, our friends The Hood Internet created this tasty little mash up featuring Fleet Foxes vs. Beyonce.  Yeah, that’s how they roll.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/black-lips-starting-over.mp3]

Download: Black Lips – Starting Over [MP3]

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/beyonce_fleet_foxes.mp3]

Download: The Hood Internet – Single Foxes (Put A Wood On It) [MP3]