The best way to create art you love is to work with those you admire. That’s exactly what Victoria-based artist Dylan Perkons did on his upcoming debut, The Healing Day, and the result is a collection of richly orchestral songs that tell the story of an experienced songwriter finally stepping out to record under his own name. Perkons has spent his career working on various projects, honing his craft both on the road and in the studio, so while The Healing Day is his first solo outing, it represents a much longer journey.
Perkons knew early on he wanted to work with producer, Jonas Bonnetta of Ontario folk-outfit Evening Hymns, and had the privilege of recording at his secluded Port William Sound in Mountain Grove, ON. The woods were the perfect backdrop for an album that required, above all else, space. While the album was largely performed by Perkons and Bonnetta, The Healing Day also features a handful of Canadian indie mainstays like Michael Feuerstack (Snailhouse,The Luyas), Pietro Amato (The Luyas), Edwin Huizinga (The Wooden Sky), and Lisa Conway (L CON).
The album draws influence from Canadian folk songwriters that have come before him and while Perkons’ familiarity is comforting, he uses it as the foundation for his atmospheric indie-pop. The opening instrumental track feels like dawn, bringing listeners immediately into the woods before Perkons’ deep baritone breaks in, beginning the album’s tellings of imperfect, but meaningful, love. The songs move through relatable despair, knowing sometimes love must be set free in order to grow. There are also moments of reprieve where it is easy to imagine an audience singing along to the chorus in “Love Like Mine”. The album finishes with “Halfway to Winnipeg” where Perkons cultivates hope in the midst of self-deprecating sincerity.
The Healing Day is best described as layered. These are earnest, well-crafted songs, brimming with strings, french horn, electric piano and a plethora of synthesizers, creating a distinctive universe for the listener, one they will want to visit over and over again.
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