Six years after the release of his second album (2009's Elvis Perkins in Dearland), singer and songwriter Elvis Perkins returns with his long-awaited third full-length effort. Released in 2015, I Aubade finds Perkins taking greater control of his music than ever before -- he produced the album himself, recorded much of it at home, played many of the instruments on his own, and released the final product on his own label, Mir Records. While I Aubade is steeped in the literate yet impressionistic lyrical style that dominated Perkins' previous work, this time he's embraced a spectral, lo-fi sound dominated by layers of found sound, curious electronic buzzing and makeshift noisemaking, a casual approach to the instrumental work, and sound effects that suggest some of the songs were recorded with the windows open in a bustling, big-city community. While lacking the relative polish of Elvis Perkins in Dearland, I Aubade recalls the more fragile and intimate feel of his 2007 debut Ash Wednesday, only with a greater level of experimental daring; this is the work of an artist eager to explore new paths, and if it isn't a complete success, I Aubade confirms Perkins is still a vital and imaginative artist with a singular vision.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming