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Alternative // Navan, Meath

‘…weave the kind of spells that are virtually impossible to escape from. The result is an unexpected, under-ether thrill ride, equal measures woozy, wistful and wonderful.’

‘…one of the most beautiful and sublime things we have heard in a long time.’

‘… a gorgeous, sighing composition that feels both dreamlike and lived-in..’

‘Perlee take the classic slowcore template and make disarmingly beautiful music’

‘Perlee manage to pack so much feeling into the melodies and performances that listening to them is like being constantly torn between sadness and nostalgic euphoria.’

‘One of the country’s most singular talents.’

‘The disarming, dreamy slowscapes of Perlee are hugely compelling’

‘A deeply reflective work, where the dreamy and concrete are held in perfect balance’

‘The dream pop duo emerges to powerful and intimate dimensionson their first full-legnth, exploring the vast emotional spaces of love, destiny and individual fulfilment.’

~ Hope Silverman, NYC, 2023

Perlee is Cormac O’Keeffe and Saramai Leech. They are from County Meath, Ireland, and met through the DIY scene in their town. They were in other bands before they began to collaborate and work as a duo and are currently based in Berlin. Their debut album is called Speaking From Other Rooms and features the esteemed Matt Ingram (Laura Marling collaborator) on drums. These statements are all true. But describing Perlee in a strictly factual way feels deceptive. Because they are one of those bands.

Perlee’s self-proclaimed musical influences are Low, Cass McCombs, Beach House, The Blue Nile, Cocteau Twins, Suicide, and Radiohead. These artists don’t have fans; they have eternally devoted, deeply infatuated disciples. Loved-up loyalists who can’t speak about them without first placing an involuntary hand over their hearts and sighing. They are the kind of bands that, from the first time you are exposed to them, set up camp on your heart and never fucking leave.

Perlee are one of those bands.

Following in the footsteps of their fabled forbearers, the Perlee sound is endlessly majestic, alternately rain-making, heartbreaking, whispery, noisy, and occasionally blessedly weird. Their debut album is called Speaking From Other Rooms. It is home to eight perfectly formed songs seamlessly working together to calm, clutch and crush you. The album’s lyrical inspiration population includes 15 baby whales, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps”, fruit, unconditional love, isolation, Berlin and you.

Speaking From Other Rooms exists out of time, sounding like both a classic 4AD album from the late ’80s and a spaced-out motherly voice from the future. Its songs are a bunch of sly soul-eating unicorns that work expertly as a team to overtake and claim our vulnerable hearts. Starting with “Slow Motion Impact” (stunningly eerie), slipping into “Bad Night’s Sleep” (seriously swoon-worthy), sliding into “Lampshade” (handsomely jangling), which is followed by “Pomegranate” (swirling gorgeous fruit-filled sludge), into “Reckoning” (dirty lustrous dream pop), toward “Lived Out Moons” (for soundtracking solo spacewalks), then getting “Wilder” (hymnal-spectral), and riding “The Wave” (fuzzy, shimmery, bloody beautiful catharsis) on into shore. The tracks on Speaking From Other Rooms are stand-alone stunning but sound even better when consumed as a whole. It is an immersive and gloriously old-school proper album, just like they used to make in the days of yore.

If you secretly love getting misty in public or missing train stops because you’re so enraptured by the song in your headphones or are subject to daydreams so enveloping that you find yourself walking in the wrong direction and forget where you’re meant to be going, well then brilliantly brave one, there’s a band that would love to spend some time with you.

Put on some Perlee and go be alive.