The Bonus Track: Linda Perhacs, Ry Cuming and a Bright Eyes Christmas

A sideways look at the world of music

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The Independent Culture

Gap years

The music business can be relentless and most performers find they need a break between albums. But who holds the between-records record? Blancmange (26 years from Believe You Me, 1985, to Blanc Burn, 2011)? Not even close. Vashti Bunyan (35 years from Just Another Diamond Day, 1970, to Lookaftering, 2005)?

Many people believe so. But if that was the case, Bunyan’s record has just been broken by fellow folkie Linda Perhacs. Perhacs recorded her first album, the cult classic Parallelograms, in 1970. It didn’t fare well until it was rediscovered in the early 2000s, leading to Daft Punk using it in their 2006 film ­Electroma, and Devendra Banhart giving Perhacs backing-vocal duties on his album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. And so we come, a mere 44 years later, to the follow-up, The Soul of All Natural Things, which will be released in March 2014. What has Perhacs been doing all this time? Working as a dental hygienist in her native California, which is what she was doing back in 1970. So no change there. And no change too to the sound of her music. Listen to new track “Freely” - 


Hold on, he’s Cuming!

If you’ve seen that Sony HD TV ad (the one with the millions of petals) and wondered who the Bon Iver-ish singer-songwriter is in the background, wonder no more. He’s called RY X, and he’s an Australian chap called Ry Cuming. But Cuming is not just another singer-­songwriter, because he’s also the man behind an electronica project and a collaboration called The Howling. He’s just signed to the influential Infectious label (home of Alt-J), so expect to hear more in 2014. Meantime, watch the video for “Berlin”, the Sony song...

Next week’s biggie…

Will Kevin Harley find Bright Eyes the best of the Christmas-albums bunch? Listen to the rocking “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” here: