“I Stay For Love, I Came For Fire”
Elvis Perkins has had anything but a calm and simple life. His father is Anthony Perkins, aka Norman Bates from the original Psycho, who died from AIDS in 1992 when Elvis was 16. His mother, photographer Berry Berenson, died in the September 11 attacks when the plane she was on crashed into a World Trade Center building. So what do we get from Elvis, who grew up in NYC and LA with a closet-homosexual father who played America’s most frightening killer, then lost his mother years later in a bizarre circumstance?
What we get comes out in the form of musical creativity. First his debut Ash Wednesday, and now I Aubade, a much softer and far more dreamy and whimsical album. We hear light guitar strumming rather than hard chords. Perkins also picks up a number of other instruments, including but not limited to a xylophone, bass guitar, sitar and a farm animal toy. This could be considered distracting to some, but interesting and perfectly placed to others.
His poetic lyrics are both metaphorical, like in “My 2$,” and straight to the point, like in “Hogus Pogus”: “I am a much happier person / When up at dawn and down to earth … I found my true love / In the end it was me.” And even better, he never comes off as too uppity or serious.
I Aubade is an album that was years in the making, something that must have taken a lot of patience. While each of the 13 tracks brings something to the table, the album as a whole sounds like one song, or lots of related, little ideas coming together for one big idea. It’s kind and gentle and enjoyable, and a genuine, unique piece of work.