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November 9, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Angela Perley’s been writing tragic love songs rooted in folk, cosmic country and indie rock for over a decade now, and it all started with The Howlin’ Moons, an American rock band from Columbus, Ohio. Perley began making demos in college, dressing them up in brown paper bags (CD sleeves with personalized artwork and a decorative track list on the flip-side). Soon enough, Perley’s demos were heard by Fred Blitzer, CEO of Vital Companies, who arranged for Perley to meet and begin working with Columbus-based musicians Chris Connor and Billy Zehnal.
In quick succession, Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons found themselves performing at Nelsonville Music Festival alongside acts like The Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, Randy Newman, Merle Haggard and Gillian Welch. Since then she has opened for Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Tyler Childers, O.A.R, and Blues Traveller and has shared bills with The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Old Crow Medicine Show and more.
Perley‘s character-driven love songs are surreal in their ability to master genre-fluidity, with forthright storytelling, wry lyricism and a host of dreamy instrumentation. Colorful acoustic and electric pianos, rich and elegant strings (i.e. “Don’t Look Back Mary”), breezy organ and punctual pedal steel (i.e. “Snake Charmer”), along with soft and sweet folk and pop melodies reminiscent of Patsy Cline and Jenny Lewis (i.e. “Local Heroes” & “4:30”) pervade the record. Perley is a self-taught guitarist, gravitating toward folk giants and personal heroes such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young. “I taught myself a couple chords on guitar and then that was it. I was really into solo performances at first, and told myself, ‘Okay, I can do this,’” says Perley. Other early influences include Lucinda Williams, Patti Smith, and David Bowie.
Perley’s music is replete with realism and her methods of storytelling are deep and refreshing. This combination reveals an uncanny ability to finesse characters and poetry out of real life events, culling from important figures in her life with an effortless, stream-of-consciousness zeal. “Being realistic but also never giving up your sense of wonder about the world of art and music has been paramount to my growth as a songwriter,” says Perley.
4:30 a.m. also happens to be Perley‘s bedtime. “4:30 is when my body’s natural sleep cycle begins so if I’m not on a schedule I tend to stay up until then,” says Perley. “My creative time begins as soon as the sun goes down. I’m definitely a night owl. I don’t know what it is… but there’s something special about it. It’s dark outside, and it’s quiet.”
“The set’s 12 songs run the gamut from psychedelic garage rock to melodic pop and heartfelt country and Americana, while the lyrics reflect what Perley calls ‘more of an existential kind of thing, an internal, searching theme.’ Indeed, ‘Let Go’ fits that mold.”— Billboard