Review of Elvis Perkins In Dearland's Doomsday EP released through XL Recordings.
American recording artist Elvis Perkins is famed for his mournful songs - his music had previously focussed on the untimely death of his father (actor Anthony Perkins, famed for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho) and the tragic death of his mother, who was a passenger on one of the planes that hit the twin towers on 9/11. So, with an EP entitled Doomsday, we are really not in for any surprises.
The title track comes from EPID's self titled full length album and is a perfect representation of his sound. With haunting horns and rhythmic drums producing possibly one of the most emotive intros I've heard in quite a while. The tempo picks up and the vocals soar, almost belying the dark lyrical content.
The tracks of the EP are sandwiched between Doomsday and Slow Doomsday, a new take on the song. More based on piano and drums but generally light on instrumentation, the slower vocals and matching rhythmic slow pace almost sounds like a funeral march. It is all but unrecognisable from the original version of the song and just highlights the talent of Perkins in re-working the songs so masterfully - a sign of a true great.
The remaining tracks are far from fillers either. Gypsy Davy is a beautiful guitar based folk song which really shows the vocal range and emotion that Perkins does so well. It starts slow and builds to wailing guitars and strings before crashing back down to earth with those sorrowful vocals - perfection! Weeping Mary is louder, more up-tempo foot stomping number, almost country-rock n roll but it does not sound out of place in between the slower paced songs on the record.
Doomsday is a great introduction to EPID; sorrowful lyrics, heartfelt vocals and clever instrumentation all feature, and the varying tempos make it a compelling listen. Despite its name, this EP is a joy to listen to.