Perlee – transcendent dream pop balm for a cold winter’s night

The Filmkunstbar Fitzcaralldo has long provided a source of sanctuary from windswept evenings in Berlin. And ensconced in the DVD-lined basement of the bar, Perlee’s ethereally beautiful music dashes all thoughts of howling winds and Tuesday blues from the enraptured, seated audience, transporting us instead to a smoky dreamscape of moonlit skies and yearning.

Hailing from Meath but now based in Berlin, the duo fill the basement with cooing, dovetailing vocals underpinned by Saramai Leech’s lush, cinematic keyboards, and Cormac O’Keeffe’s delicate, reverb-drenched guitar. Opening with the sparse, tear-inducingly beautiful Chain Of Coral, and closing with forthcoming single Charlie’s Song, their set veers from haunted, fingerpicking wistfulness to sun-kissed dream pop redolent of Beach House and Slowdive.

“This feeling of plenty is in my bones”

The overall effect is less of watching a set of songs, but rather of being taken on a journey through a dreamworld, alternating between states of wide-eyed wonder watching whales under starry skies, to ineffable waves of longing and torment in shadow-cast post-apocalyptic landscapes. The duo manage this with seamless, carefully-crafted musicianship, where unison vocals splinter into spectral harmonies, and unexpected chord changes light up plaintive, autumnal moods with lingering rays of hope.

‘This feeling of plenty is in my bones’ sing the duo halfway through the set, mirroring the enchantment of the audience sat upon their upturned beer crates. Set to release their next single Charlie’s Song on February 21st, and their EP Slow Creature on March 27th, Perlee may soon be set to fill ever-bigger spaces with their delicate sounds. But on this cold winter’s evening in Berlin, they made the cosy candlelit basement of the Filmtheater Fitzcaralldo a haven for all in attendance.

Perlee play next in Berlin at Bar Bobu, Friedrichshain on March 7th 2020.

Cover Picture by
© Greta María Ásgeirsdóttir

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