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Elvis Perkins - In Dearland (Xl)

It took me two listens to shimmy my way into Dearland– a rich, heartbreaking New Orleanian funeral procession-inspired record- the 2nd “second-line” album of Elvis Perkins. He plays seamlessly and tautly with his three versatile band-mates who pick up instruments ranging from horns and marching band percussion to the harmonium. Songs like “I’ll Be Arriving,” eerily conjures up the picture of southern pinstriped prisoners dragging broken glass along a highway (jingle jangle, ooo) . Elvis’s potent voice rides up and down, and has a dominant but un-abrasive character of its own. There’s a tinge of Dylan; the two singer/songwriters share a producer after all: Chris Shaw. It might take as long as it took you (if you can remember) to get into Dylan’s rasp, and has that kind of initially enigmatic vibe, but once you’re in… man!