Linda Perhacs To Release First Album in 44 Years on Asthmatic Kitty

After a 44 year hiatus, Linda Perhacs will release The Soul of All Natural Things, out March 4, 2014 on Asthmatic Kitty records.

Perhacs’ 1970 album Parallelograms has enjoyed a special classic status and long-enduring afterlife among music fans; a rediscovered gem that never fades back into obscurity. Perhaps, the American equivalent to Vashti Bunyan’s Just Another Diamond Day. Parallelograms is an uncanny mix of Aquarian folk and ethereal, avant-garde treatments, Parallelograms was created in the heart of hippy country, LA’s Topanga Canyon, by a dental hygienist named Linda Perhacs who was inspired by nature and by the cultural revolution going on around her.

In the internet age, though, obscurity can be discreetly transformed into a kind of niche immortality. As the 21st Century began she learned that Parallelograms had become a cult album. A CD reissue on The Wild Places imprint followed in 2003, but Perhacs’ reputation only continued to grow. Devendra Banhart was particularly evangelical, and tempted Perhacs back into a studio in 2007 to provide backing vocals on his reconstruction of the vintage Topanga vibe, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon.

Disparate and unlikely fans revealed themselves: Swedish death metal group Opeth covered “Parallelograms;” Daft Punk placed “If You Were My Man” in their Electroma movie. “I first bought Parallelograms on vinyl when I was in New York on tour,” remembers Ramona Gonzalez of the LA group Nite Jewel. “I carried it under my arm to a crowded party, shut the door to the room that had a turntable, turned it on, and laid on the ground. I probably listened to it a dozen times while tears filled my eyes.”

And slowly, Perhacs began making music again. In 2010, she performed live for the very first time, at a tribute show (organized by the internet radio station, Dublab) that connected her to a new generation of LA musicians supernaturally attuned to her vision.

Perhacs fell into auspicious and hip young company, tentatively negotiating a return to musical activity with the help of Gonzalez and Julia Holter. Inspiration came, too, from listening to “Francisco”, a Milton Nascimento song that Devendra Banhart had passed on to her, and from watching Inside Björk, a documentary which showed the Icelandic singer escaping from the pressures of performance by sailing up close to a majestic iceberg.

Then came an email from Fernando Perdomo. "I get a lot of messages but something said, ‘Answer that email right away.’”

Perdomo, it transpired, was a skilled musician and producer who’d just moved from Florida into Perhacs’ LA neighbourhood. Along with another dedicated and gifted Perhacs fan, Chris Price, the trio began recording the eclipse song, “River Of God,” and what became the new album’s title track, "The Soul Of All Natural Things." It’s a remarkable follow-up album, one that sustains and extends the aesthetic mission of its 43-year-old predecessor. Julia Holter and Ramona Gonzalez contribute, too, on a set of 12 new songs which Mojo has already called “a spectrally hypnotic work of prismatic beauty.”

Watch the video for "Freely" from The Soul of All Natural Things here:

As a consequence The Soul Of All Natural Things, for all its apparent serenity, is also a subtly polemical album, full of exhortations to take a step out of our frantic everyday lives. “We get too far out of balance and we must find a way to get back to our polestar,” Perhacs says. “I felt that people needed to be reminded of that. My music isn’t just recreational, it’s not just entertainment. I have a deeper purpose. My soul is giving itself to the people; I want them to be helped, I want them to be lifted.

Lofty aspirations, perhaps, but they typify this new age of Linda Perhacs’ music. “Linda,” says Sufjan Stevens, who is releasing The Soul Of All Natural Things on his Asthmatic Kitty label, “has a prophetic voice that speaks beauty and truth with the kind of confidence and hope that has been lost for decades. There is nothing more real in music today.”

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Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.