Perhapsy has released their new single, O, Su Yung, which is lifted from their latest EP ‘The’. Take a listen via Soundcloud below.
Perhapsy is the solo project of musician Derek Barber, guitarist and songwriter of Astronauts, etc., Bells Atlas, and Madeline Kenney. Active since his college years as a Jazz Studies major at the University of Michigan, Perhapsy has been the main creative outlet for Barber outside playing in various other Oakland-based bands.
While on tour in 2009, Barber — who suffers from Bipolar Disorder — endured an extended hospitalization. The experience left a lasting impression on him. Eventually, he emerged with a newfound desire and confidence to write music centered around not just his guitar, but his voice.
Although Perhapsy began as an instrumental, post-rock outfit, the band has translated into an experimental pop singer-songwriter project characterized by trance-like guitar loops, unexpected hooks, live sonic improvisation, and understated vocals.
While continually contributing to Astronauts, etc., Bells Atlas, and Madeline Kenney, Barber self-released his sophomore album ‘Me Tie Dough-ty Walker’ in March 2016.
Although he’s lived in California for several years, Perhapsy’s Derek Barber is a midwesterner at heart. Beneath the layered, post-rock guitar textures and driving drum beats on ‘The,’ Perhapsy’s latest EP, lays a sweetness and sincerity that belies Barber’s Mansfield, Ohio origins. The music on this EP is nostalgic, not in the regressive, unimaginative sense of cultural nostalgia — plundering the stylistic tendencies of the past — but in the more personal sense: a genuine, aching looking back into one’s own past experiences and emotions. This nostalgia, derived from the lyrics and Barber’s soft vocals, lays under a bed of shimmering guitars.
Aside from his work as the frontman for Perhapsy, Barber is rightfully acclaimed for his guitar playing with Madeline Kenney, Bells Atlas, and Astronauts, etc. As such, the guitars on ‘The’ are the EP’s most distinctive feature. They chime on the spirited Baptism ’89; rise and fall over a pulsing bed of bass and drum machine claps on the lush, foggy Forward/Back; pierce through the haze of Where Is Your Home?; ring on O, Su Yung, a driving, post-punk ghost story; and swell and roar on the cover of Grouper’s Heavy Water (I’d Rather Be Sleeping). The lyrics on the chorus of this last tune sum up the overall affect of the EP: “Oh dreams I’m moving through heavy water / The love is enormous / It’s lifting me up / I’d rather be sleeping / I’d rather fall into tidal waves / Right where the deepest currents flow.”
‘The’ is being released March 24th via Wave Dweller and Copper Mouth Records.