ELVIS PERKINS, the sculptor of fine indie songsmithery in the great American tradition, has shared another excellent slice of melody ahead of his fifth album, Creation Myths, which will be out come October 2nd on MIR/Petaluma Records.
And for this, his fifth album and his first full-length venture since his 2017 soundtrack The Blackcoat’s Daughter, he reached into his notebooks, dusting down fragments of ideas, unfinished tunes, sketches forgotten; and decided to finally record the best, some of which had been awaiting his attention for the better part of two decades.
“I’ve carried them with me since their genesis,” he says, “and I’ve always suspected that they would be documented at some point; but you never know when you’re gonna have that window, when it will finally feel like the right time.”
Creation Myths treads with a light and knowing step through the hinterlands of folk and Americana, with each song receiving the styling and finesse it needs.
We looked at the lovely and haunting previous single “See Through” here, and said of it: “It’s at once rooted in a world of Brunswick Records 7”s with triangular pushouts and yellowed, dogeared sleeves, and utterly modern in its lyrical concerns: the self-satisfying bubbles of media interaction we have come to live in, gone see-through to each other.
“Bodies sharing sofas, but elsewhere in our eyes and minds.”
“See Monkey” is a confection of mournful brass announcements, piano with the pacing of Father John Misty or just-solo Lennon, over which Elvis sets about with gnomic, cosmic observation: “You can leave your shoes in the riverbank … you can laugh yourself to tears if you want to, my love.” An Eastern tinged middle eight leads back to brass grace. The overall feel is very second-album Bill Fay.
“You can spend your time with a sea monkey / And expect nothing in return,” he advises. It’s excellently cosmic pop.
Elvis says: “Sometimes you do the best things when you don’t know what you’re doing yet.
“I called this record Creation Myths because, in a way, I really don’t know how these songs came into being. So they are the explanation of themselves.”
You can pre-order Creation Myths, which will be available on digital, CD and vinyl formats, here.