|Linda Perhacs||I’m A Harmony|
|Omnivore Recordings||September 22, 2017|
Linda Perhacs — I’m A Harmony (Sept. 22, 2017) ••• “This is my third album,” says Perhacs. “It is truly my best so far because it is a collaboration with other amazing artists. In our world that is increasingly suffering from an ‘Eclipse Of All Love’, this album will renew your love and ‘Wash Your Soul In Sound’.” Long lost early~1970s psych~folk singer~songwriter whose work resurfaced as a major freak~folk influence decades later.
Location: Los Angeles ~ Topanga Canyon, CA
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Folk
Styles: Singer/Songwriter, Obscuro
Album release: September 22, 2017
Recording Location: Reseda Ranch Studios, Reseda, CA, The Session Rooms, Tiny Door Studios, Nashville, TN
Record Label: Omnivore Recordings
01. Winds of the Sky (featuring Nels Cline) 5:49
02. We Will Live (featuring Julia Holter and Devendra Banhart) 5:17
03. I’m A Harmony (featuring Julia Holter) 8:06
04. The Dancer 4:00
05. Crazy Love (featuring the Autumn Defense) 4:10
06. Take Your Love To A Higher Level (featuring Durga McBroom and Michelle Vidal) 3:09
07. Eclipse Of All Love (featuring Pat Sansone) 2:51
08. One Full Circle Around The Sun 2:53
09. Beautiful Play (featuring Julia Holter) 4:12
10. Visions (featuring Julia Holter) 7:12
11. You Wash My Soul in Sound (featuring Mark Pritchard) 5:24
℗ 2017 Linda Perhacs, under exculsive license to Omnivore Recordings
Producer: Fernando Perdomo, Linda Perhacs, Pat Sansone
• Greg Allen Package Design
• The Autumn Defense Featured Artist
• Devendra Banhart Spoken Word
• Rachael Cassells Cover Photo
• Nels Cline Soloist
• Melissa Cusick Back Cover Photo
• Leddie Garcia Percussion
• Anthony Geernaert Back Cover Photo
• James Haggerty Bass
• Julia Holter Composer, Engineer, Keyboards, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Glenn Kotche Percussion
• Durga McBroom Vocals (Background)
• Carlos Ortiz Back Cover Photo
• Fernando Perdomo Bass, Composer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer
• Linda Perhacs Composer, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Alex Pilkington Guitar
• John Pirruccello Pedal Steel
• Chris Price Add. Production, Composer, Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals (Background)
• Mark Pritchard Composer, Engineer, Producer
• Kyle Safieh Back Cover Photo
• Pat Sansone Back Cover Photo, Cover Design, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Josh Shapera Engineer
• John Stirratt Guitar (Electric)
• Tonje Thilesen Back Cover Photo
• Cyndi Trissel Back Cover Photo, Cover Design
• Michelle Vidal Back Cover Photo, Vocals (Background)
• Greg Wieczorek Drums
••• Produced by Pat Sansone (Wilco/The Autumn Defense), Fernando Perdomo and Linda Perhacs.
••• Guest artists include Chris Price, Devendra Banhart, Pat Sansone & John Stirratt (Wilco/The Autumn Defense), Glenn Kotche & Nels Cline (Wilco), Julia Holter.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Until 2014, singer Linda Perhacs had only issued one album, Parallelograms, in 1970 on Kapp Records. That release immediately fell into obscurity, but gained fans over the ensuing years as musicians as disparate as Devendra Banhart, Daft Punk, and death~metal group Opeth sang its praises. As the status of Parallelograms continued to rise in the 21st century, Linda found her way back to recording thanks to talented fans like Fernando Perdomo, Julia Holter and Chris Price. ••• In 2014, another enthusiast, Sufjan Stevens, released Linda’s 44~year follow up to Parallelograms, The Soul Of All Natural Things (produced by Perhacs, Price and Perdomo), on his label Asthmatic Kitty.
••• Perhacs’ long overdue return to music was joyously welcomed, with MOJO magazine describing the album as “a spectrally hypnotic work of prismatic beauty.”
••• Now, in 2017, Perhacs joins the Omnivore Recordings family with a newly recorded album, I’m A Harmony — this time produced by Pat Sansone (Wilco/The Autumn Defense), with Perhacs and Perdomo reprising their roles from The Soul Of All Natural Things, due out September 22, 2017.
••• Also returning from the 2014 project are composer/multi~instrumentalist/producers Holter and Price. Joining the ensemble are Sansone and John Stirratt (The Autumn Defense/Wilco); Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche (Wilco); Banhart, who offers up a spoken~word segment on “We Will Live”; and producer/remixer Mark Pritchard, who brings his producing talents to bear on “You Wash My Soul In Sound.” Additional contributions from John Pirrucello, James Haggerty, Leddie Garcia, Greg Wiezorek, and singers Michelle Vidal and Durga McBroom grace tracks throughout the release.
••• “This is my third album,” says Perhacs. “It is truly my best so far because it is a collaboration with other amazing artists. In our world that is increasingly suffering from an ‘Eclipse Of All Love,’ this album will renew your love and ‘Wash Your Soul In Sound’.”
••• According to co~producer Sansone: “Working with Linda on I’m A Harmony has been a joy and a true learning experience. She injects so much soul and quiet magic into every molecule of her writing and performances on this album. Working with her I was continuously inspired, and my fandom amplified.”
••• Co~producer Perdomo said: “Linda Perhacs is a musical treasure. It has been an honor to help Linda continue to bring so much joy to the world with her amazing vision and spirit. I’m A Harmony may be the most ambitious record I have ever been a part of. At 75, Linda is more creative than ever and I hope she inspires everyone as much as she has inspired me.” ••• http://omnivorerecordings.com/
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming; Score: ***½
••• Linda Perhacs’ story sounds like the plot for a Hollywood movie: Dental hygienist who writes songs in her spare time is discovered by a music biz bigwig while she cleans his teeth. She makes a brilliant album that sells zilch, and drops out of the music industry. Decades later, record collectors and freak folkies rediscover the album, and it’s reissued without the songwriter’s knowledge. Eventually the visionary hygienist is found, and learns she has an audience. If this were a movie, the scenario would likely end with the vocalist playing for a sold~out crowd at Carnegie Hall after her new album became a hit, though that hasn’t happened in real life yet. Still, the fact that Perhacs has returned to duty and is creating compelling new music 47 years after her cult classic Parallelograms came and went is more than remarkable in itself. At the age of 74, Perhacs has released her third album, 2017’s I’m a Harmony, and the passing of nearly half a century has made a difference, though not as much as you might think. Perhacs’ voice is more fragile and whispery than it was in 1970, and she doesn’t hit the notes as reliably as she once did. That said, her instrument is surprisingly functional given how long she avoided singing in public, and the many collaborators who help her on I’m a Harmony are both generous and knowing in their musical and vocal support. (Significantly, the cover reads “The Voice and Vision of Linda Perhacs” before listing the artists who pitched in to help make the album a reality.) As a songwriter, Perhacs’ muse has barely aged a day, and the playful but heartfelt hippie~style visions and soaring melodies that dominated Parallelograms are still here in abundance; if the craft here feels more 21st century, the heart and soul are very much the same, and Perhacs has remained loyal to the musical vision she first documented in 1970. And Perhacs’ partners on I’m a Harmony serve her very well; the album was produced by Pat Sansone (of Wilco and the Autumn Defense) and Fernando Perdomo in collaboration with Perhacs, with appearances from Julia Holter, Devendra Banhart, Nels Cline, and Mark Pritchard, and the results are graceful and powerfully atmospheric, individual while flattering the style of the headliner. I’m a Harmony isn’t the revelation that Parallelograms was, but it’s not a letdown, either; this is the work of an artist whose singular creative viewpoint hasn’t dimmed with time. She still has a great deal to say, and those who loved her debut will discover she hasn’t lost her touch.
by Brad Shoup, SEPTEMBER 22 2017 / Score: 7.0
••• Like her 2014 comeback record, the new album from psych~folk artist Linda Perhacs features collaborations with Julia Holter and electronic touches, expanding the borders of her sound.
••• “I’m a harmony/And extra~cellularly/I’m singing this to you/Through your laptop,” Linda Perhacs sings on the title track of I’m a Harmony. After releasing her 1970 debut Parallelograms — which for decades was her only album — Perhacs became a sort of vanished flower child for the folk/psych collector set. I’m a Harmony is her first record in three years, and her third in all, and its title reads like a koan. But it’s also a boast, as Perhacs delivers her meditative folk with typical aplomb. Released from the burden of following up a cult classic, and supported by familiar collaborators, Perhacs is free to stretch out and have a little fun.
••• Lyrically, I’m a Harmony continues where 2014’s The Soul of All Natural Things left off: plainspoken contemplations of the physical realm, relationships, and the ways in which the two collide. Like Natural Things’ titular first cut, I’m a Harmony’s opener “Winds of the Sky” locates the divine in the meteorological. Perhacs’ stately melody drifts over bass~led downtempo passages; Wilco guitarist Nels Cline closes the song with an awestruck solo reminiscent of Robert Fripp’s work with the Roches. On “Eclipse of All Love,” a waltz~time duet with the Autumn Defense’s Pat Sansone, Perhacs tracks an incoming storm, then connects it to personal matters: “Ain’t it a shame/If we are to blame/For this serious game/On the physical plane.”
••• Perhacs plots these nexuses of the earthly and emotional all over the album. To devotees of new age music, the approach is familiar. Those hoping for a return to the vibes of her debut may be disappointed, however. Though Parallelograms was produced by Oscar~winning composer Leonard Rosenman and released on an MCA imprint, it’s sometimes categorized as “loner folk,” a catchall genre for idiosyncratic, hermetic records with psychedelic dusting. (It’s also called “acid folk,” though Perhacs was drug~free.) When Perhacs first entered the studio decades ago, she was a dental hygienist — she met Rosenman at work, in fact — with a homemade demo. But while recording she had the good sense to tailor her talent to the skills of the assembled studio vets.
••• Similarly, I’m a Harmony finds her drawing on the strengths of her current collaborators — several of whom she worked with on The Soul of All Natural Things, or on their own projects — to push her sound outward. Returning player Julia Holter is featured on four cuts, two of which are Perhacs’ longest compositions to date. Holter offers a second lead vocal on “I’m a Harmony,” and her deft keyboard work helps navigate the song from playful airiness to a jammy gallop and back again. The solemn “Visions” opens with Holter and Perhacs intoning wordlessly, coolly looping around each other like contrails; they do the same at the song’s midpoint, adding dubby percussion and slide guitar. In the liner notes, this section is labeled (visual music sculpture).
••• In a 2014 interview, Perhacs acknowledged how she clashed with her co~producers (Fernando Perdomo and Chris Price, who also worked on Emitt Rhodes’ 2016 comeback Rainbow Ends) over these kinds of non~organic touches. “If you hear a synth [on The Soul of All Natural Things],” she said, “it’s because I put my foot down.” The discussions paid off, and while Perdomo and Price rejoined Perhacs for this new record, her electronic visions carry the day. The contemplative textures and freeform passages lend an existential heft to songs that could otherwise come across as willfully earnest. And the more straightforward compositions — like the tender birthday song “One Full Circle Around the Sun” and the pendulant reverie “Beautiful Play” — benefit from the contrast. On The Soul of All Natural Things, Perhacs joined the distinguished club of artists following up decades~old recordings. With I’m a Harmony, she slips free from the comeback narrative, expanding the borders of her particular cosmology: lovers and friends, bound by the wind, linked by laptops. ••• https://pitchfork.com/
|Linda Perhacs||I’m A Harmony|
|Omnivore Recordings||September 22, 2017|
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