Thursday, April 21, 2011

Linda Perhacs - Paralleograms (1970)

"Alpha waves are electromagnetic oscillations in the frequency range of 8–12 Hz arising from synchronous and coherent (in phase / constructive) electrical activity of thalamic pacemaker cells in humans. They are also called Berger's wave in memory of the founder of EEG. Alpha waves are one type of brain waves detected either by electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG) and predominantly originate from the occipital lobe during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes. Alpha waves are reduced with open eyes, drowsiness and sleep. Historically, they were thought to represent the activity of the visual cortex in an idle state. More recent papers have argued that they inhibit areas of the cortex not in use, or alternatively that they play an active role in network coordination and communication.[1] Occipital alpha waves during periods of eyes closed are the strongest EEG brain signals."

Right now there is a soft rain coming down and I have a few particular albums which I like to listen to on rainy days, this being one of my favorites. In the vein of Vashni Bunyan, bonafied 60's love child Linda Perhacs' only album is is a glinting, sprightly, hypnotic album perfect for lazy rainy days, such as today and the weekend forecast to come is suggesting. "Chimacum Rain" is one of my favorite folk songs of all time and its so supple and gentla it puts your brain in the aforementioned alpha state of relaxation, yet high concentration. Perhacs sings unironically "unwinding, to be free" on "Call of the River" as the song transitions between soothing folk and a psychedelic undertones during the slightly faster tempo of the minor collision chorus the song occasionally goes into. Titular track, "Parallelograms" is, like much of the album anodyne and somnolent with is floating arias drifting along like a leaf down a river, until the unconventional alien-esque instrumental solo which transforms back into main structure after the brief avant-garde stray between the main verses. "Hey Who really Cares?" is an introspective, lonesome song and the saddest song on the album, but again perfect for a calming rain. Its a song for when you feel like you don't have anyone to turn to and you can put on and have Ms. Perhacs lull you into a bucolic atmosphere "anywhere out this world" as Baudeleire would say. Overall this album is gorgeously quiescent. Perhaps that's a bad adjective to use because the compositions on here are really well arranged, its just so benign it can be mistaken for minimal. The finest moment on the album however, comes at the end and is the demo version of "If you Were my Man," a haunting piano piece and unrequited love song with one of the most beautiful harmonies you will ever hear, I guarantee it. This is a lost gem, which at one point was selling for hefty prices on the internet, but has since been rereleased thankfully as this kind and wondrous lady needs some more exposure. To conclude, one of the best folk albums ever recorded; download immediately if you aren't already acquainted.

Rating: 9/10