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Musical Pairings: Elvis Perkins in Dearland (paired with tomato, chorizo soup with cabbage and chickpeas)

A warm, filling soup is always a very welcome meal after a long day at work. Even better then when you can enjoy that soup with friends and good music. Kasey prepared this tomato, chorizo soup with cabbage and chickpeas last week for a meal with some good friends who were visiting from L.A. It is a slightly spicy soup, and could serve well to hearten a weary soul. Likewise, it is a lively dish, and it is a good meal to share with friends encouraging good conversation. Because of this, Elvis Perkins in Dearland‘s self-titled album is a perfect pairing for this recipe.

The opening track on the album, “Shampoo,” is as good as any other song you’ll hear this year, and is easily the best track Perkins has recorded to date. Nonetheless, even if “Shampoo” wasn’t on here, Elvis Perkins in Dearland would still be a great album worth adding to your library. Of course, some songs are better than others, but even after numerous listens over a period of weeks, I still can’t really identify a single weak link on the album. “Shampoo” is followed by “Hey,” a bobbing, catchy melody, and one of the more lyrically upbeat tracks on the album: “Come with me I’ll take you anywhere.” “Hours Last Stand” could have been a lost track by the Beatles, and is every bit as good as this reference would suggest. “I Heard Your Voice in Dresden,” “Send My Regards to Lonelyville,” and “Doomsday” are also highlights.

Perkins is wrestling with some pretty tough stuff on this album, and lyrically Elvis Perkins in Dearland can occasionally walk a fine line bordering melancholy. In has been noted in numerous articles about Elvis Perkins that his father (Anthony Perkins – the actor from Psycho) died while Elvis was quite young, and his mother died in the September 11 attacks. That would give anyone a lot to deal with emotionally. Nonetheless, the music on the album is generally upbeat and relatively uplifting, as though Perkins is determined to remain positive despite devastating blows. Even when songs begin sounding morose (see “How’s Forever Been Baby”), horns punch through the dreariness and raise the spirit of the tune. Indeed, like the chorizo in Kasey’s soup, the instrumentation by Perkin’s backing band is complex and slightly piquant, featuring hints of Americana, zydeco, waltz and British Invasion era pop-rock. In other words, like eating a warm bowl of hearty soup, Elvis Perkins in Dearland is toothsome and full-flavored. Definitely an album worth checking out.

Download the MP3: Elvis Perkins in Dearland – Shampoo

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Head back to our homepage to read the recipe for Kasey’s tomato chorizo soup with cabbage and chickpeas.

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

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