LP Speaking From Other Rooms on April 21, 2023
"A gorgeous, sighing composition that feels both dreamlike and lived-in"
"Berlin group Perlee take the classic slowcore template and make disarmingly beautiful music"
"We’re more than happy to call it: Perlee are one of the most exciting Irish acts we’ve heard in some time."
The Thin Air
Speaking from Other Rooms, the debut album from Berlin-based Irish band Perlee, is an album about unconditional love, the banality of a capitalist society, destiny and self-realisation. Mostly though it is about love; long-distance love, love that strives to exist across a physical distance, across generations, between lovers and across time.
Although much of the album is sprawling and dreamlike, on Speaking From Other Rooms Perlee also demonstrate their aptitude for writing catchy indie-pop earworms. New single ‘Reckoning' was sonically inspired by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ song ‘Maps’. The track is about the end of the world and “that weird space where you contemplate the end of being and what matters.” Of their new single, O'Keeffe says:
"We were trying to capture that weird feeling you can get from trying to connect online with family. Necessary and welcome but difficult and strained. We wanted to start the 2nd half of the record with a bang but also have a sense of continuity with some of the sounds introduced in the first half. We had the Yeah Yeah Yeah's song 'Maps' in our minds as we were recording, especially for Matt's drum part. It was fun for us to have a riff based song leading to a euphoric chorus. We retreat to our dreamy safe place on the outro as your soul drifts away into the evermore of infinity!'
Tension between distance and nearness has shaped the past few years in which Saramai Leech and Cormac O'Keeffe have been working on their debut LP. After two EP releases, Speaking from Other Rooms is the duo's first full-length record. Perlee combine a melancholic dreaminess with dense intensity, the kind you might expect from bands like Low, Mogwai or Radiohead.
The couple, who originally met through the DIY scene in their hometown of Navan, formed Perlee whilst living in a small house in the farmer’s quarters of a large stately home, surrounded by huge trees, peacocks and farm dogs. The house was so remote that they were able to spend their evenings drinking red wine and playing loud music late into the night.
In 2018, the pair moved to Berlin and quickly found a small flat in an old industrial part of the city called Moabit. They had the good fortune, through friends, of finding a rehearsal space on the grounds of an old hospital around the corner and began developing the sound they had first struck upon while living in the remote Irish countryside. In the early days, the couple enjoyed the many spaces the city provided in which to showcase their music. They played several gigs every week in smoky bars, house concerts and clubs until the pandemic hit.
Unable to tour they began to focus fully on the production of their album. The songs were mainly written in their Berlin studio, while drummer Matt Ingram (Laura Marling, LUMP), who also mixed the album, recorded his parts in London. This collaboration brought a sense of spaciousness to the project and meant that the songs could be reflected upon and refined as the process gradually progressed.
During the recording of the album, Saramai became pregnant with their son, and so began the race to get everything finished before the baby arrived. “I was a few days overdue and having conversations with my bump, asking that he would let me have a couple more days to finish mixing and exporting the album. Luckily he obliged!” she says.
Due out on April 21st, Speaking From Other Rooms is a celebration of an interior life and the desire to connect and love, be that unconditional, familial, romantic, or self-love, with a healthy dose of dystopia thrown in for good measure.
Speaking from Other Rooms marks Perlee's third body of work and first L.P. These songs have been in gestation for over two years and through a process of experimentation and many sessions of recording and arranging in their Berlin studio have arrived at their finished state. The process of working remotely, with drummer/producer Matt Ingram (Laura Marling, LUMP) recording his parts in London, brought a sense of space and meant that the songs could be reflected on and refined as the process progressed. Matt Ingram also mixed the album. The album was mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung Mastering in Bonn.
The duo's sound has evolved and become more textural though the dreaminess is still ever present. There are more dark twists in these songs than in previous work. The sense of being confined to one place is apparent but the ability to connect over space and time and that which allows the human spirit to survive and thrive is also here in spades. Lyrically the songwriting explores themes of unconditional love, the banality of a capitalist society, destiny, self-actualisation, long distance love – at a physical distance, across generational distance, between lovers and over time.
Other artists featuring on the record are Conor Murray and A.S. Fanning. Conor drums on 'The Wave' and 'Wilder', the bones of which tracks were recorded in a live band session by Stephen Shannon (Adrian Crowley, Mount Alaska) in Dublin, October 2019. A.S. Fanning plays bass guitar on 'Reckoning'.
release on January 27, 2023
release on August 14, 2020
via Greenbay Records
release on July 17, 2020
via Greenbay Records