By: Moira Bonadonna – Staff Writer
Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons, a country rock and roll band from Columbus, released their first album, “Hey Kid,” Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The band started in 2009 when lead singer-songwriter, Perley, 27, met bassist Billy Zehnal and guitarist Chris Connor.
Their drummer, Steve Rupp, was found through a side-project Connor was involved in, and was coincidentally classmates with Perely in high school, she said. The official website, angelaperley.com, indicates Perley’s love of poetry, films and other art forms, which she said were what sparked her interest in music.
“I learned to play guitar and sing my first songs from trying to make my favorite poems into songs,” Perley said. “Ever since I was really young I would make up songs to help me remember stuff and in high school and college I started putting music to my favorite poems.”
“A Birthday,” written by Christina Rossetti, was one of Perley’s favorite poem-turned-songs that she put together on guitar. She said she loved being able to feel like she was “breathing new life into a poem by making it into a song.”
Perley said the band started to become more serious after recording music and playing more shows and festivals.
“The last couple years I have been doing music full time,” she said. “That was super scary at first, but it made me jump in hard and try to keep my head above the water and has kept me on the ball.”
Perley said she is glad the band started out recording EPs—extended plays, a piece longer than a single, but shorter than an album—because it has prepared them for their first full-length record.
In an email to Flyer News, Perley said that they took the album name, “Hey Kid,” from a line out of their song “George Stone”: ‘Don’t you even blink an eye when some stranger passing by says, ‘Hey kid, is something wrong?’
“That phrase really stuck out and we just liked the feeling and flow of it,” Perley said.
Even though she said she does not have a favorite song on the record, she’s “digging how ‘Bad Reputation’ turned out [because] it’s a straight and simple rock and roll song.” She said they recorded the song almost exactly like they play it live.
While all are equal members of the band, all the songs start off with just an acoustic guitar and Perley, herself.
“Basically, I write the lyrics and the general compositions to the songs and then I introduce the songs to the band,” Perley said. “The inspiration comes from everything around me. Films, books, poetry, real life and fantasy.”
Although Perley referred to the band’s music as rock and roll, “Hey Kid” is a mixture of both that and country. Some of the songs have a country twang that is familiar to country artists throughout the music industry, and as well as an undercurrent of country music in the more rock and roll songs. Perley said that their music is not geared toward any audience specifically, rather toward anybody who is appreciative of it.
Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons’ next show nearby will be Feb. 7 at Crow’s Nest in Cincinnati.