Linda Perhacs - The Soul of All Natural Things - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Linda Perhacs - The Soul of All Natural Things

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2014-03-24

The year was 1970. Janis Joplin got fined $200 for using profanity onstage, Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album, and the Beatles came out with their last album, Let It Be, and worst of all, Randy Bachmann left The Guess Who to form Bachmann-Turner Overdrive. This was also the year Linda Perhacs released her first and only album, Parallelograms. It became a psych-folk classic. This was, by the way, the same year Uma Thurman and Queen Latifah were born (And a little known fact, from the same mother… Identical Twins…)  

And now, 44 years later, and at that tender age of 70, Linda Perhacs, psych-folk singer, after seeing a meteor streak across the sky as she drove down a California highway, returns to writing songs and comes out with a brilliant new album called The Soul of All Natural Things, on Sufjan Stevens label, Asthmatic Kitty. Filling her songs with odd hippy imagery, references to one natural thing after another, dotted with mysticism, and skewed and bent polemics, and quietly strange ruminations on, well, life, love, and hope, Linda Perhacs knocks it out of the park. 

These folky, psychedelic songs are more reminiscent of Mazzy Star than Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell. There is a pleasant alternative oddness to every tune. From the gorgeous opening track, 'The Soul of All Natural Things', where Linda’s hauntingly sweet voice echoes just enough to create a spacy edge, on through such powerful and well-written tunes as 'River of God' and 'Prisms of Glass', Linda’s complex mix of hippy sentiments and deliberate folk structures evoke a time long past when aliens probed your butt and you really did get enough pot in a nickel bag.

The truly potent effect of Linda’s psych-folk sentiment can be found in the song 'When Things are True Again'. This song starts with some spacy synth and merges with oddly compelling layers of humming before her borderline sweet/killer voice floats in. Every tune, with the exception of the little too lightweight second track, 'Children', strikes a stunning blend of  psych and folk which doesn’t miss a beat from the cult brilliance of her 44-year-old album, Parallelograms. 

Who knows why Ms Perhacs waited so long to give us a new collection. Perhaps it was indeed a meteor streaking across the sky, but regardless, The Soul of All Natural Things is well worth the wait.

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Great review, Jim!

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