Angela Perley and the Howlin' Moons' fresh video for "White Doves," the opening track off of their most recent release, "Homemade Vision."

Looking Back (and Forward) With Angela Perley

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Late last month, Columbus-based retro rockers Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons released the official video for “White Doves,” the opening track off of their rollicking sophomore effort, Homemade Vision.

In the video, lead singer Angela Perley dons portions of her gorgeous vintage wardrobe to baptize herself alternatively in a lagoon and a bathtub – all to the cathartic undulation of the song’s bass line and soaring guitar licks.

Perley described the process of recording “Homemade Vision,” which was released in January on Vital Music USA, as “a great time.” The album was produced by Michael Landolt, of Maroon 5 Songs About Jane fame.

Angela Perley performs at Casa Cantina last month. (Ruthie Herman/WOUB)
Angela Perley performs at Casa Cantina last month. (Ruthie Herman/WOUB)

“I think it was a faster process this time around because we were working with Mike (Landolt) and he’s a very laid back and very organized,” said Perley. “He let us do our thing and created a great atmosphere in the studio for us to bounce ideas off each other.”

The Howlin’ Moons full length debut, 2014’s Hey Kid, came after a handful of excellent EPs crafted over the course of the five years following Perley’s graduation from Ohio University in 2008.

“When I look back, I suppose that the EPs where way more rootsy, more folky – and the lyrics were even a little character driven,” said Perley. “Our more recent recordings are a lot more rock ‘n’ roll.”

Perley, who grew up in Hilliard, OH, has been playing music since she started taking piano and violin lessons at an early age, around the fifth grade.

“I started writing songs in high school, and I was in my first band, a girl group called The Frankies, when I was in high school,” said Perley. “Around then I started performing in front of people at house shows, and I liked it. I was also really into theater growing up – which I think blended into songwriting for me. I think it also helped me become comfortable performing in front of people on stage.”

During her time at OU, Perley obtained a bachelor’s in English with a lanuague arts teaching certificate.

“Then I realized I’m a really bad teacher,” laughed Perley. “I did like being in English classes and reading the writing, but that was it. When I graduated I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. At that time I was playing at lot at OU, but I never thought it would be something I could rely on for finances or as career.”

A shot of the merchandise on hand at a recent Angela Perley and the Howlin' Moons show at Casa Cantina. (Ruthie Herman/WOUB)
A shot of the merchandise on hand at a recent Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons show at Casa Cantina. (Ruthie Herman/WOUB)

Much to her surprise, Perley’s gig schedule started to get so hectic that it overshadowed the substitute teaching she had taken on following her graduation. She said that she’s been playing pretty much fulltime for the past three years.

Her efforts have been recognized by devoted fans and critics alike – as well as by an International Songwriting Competition Award that she won in 2014 for “Athens,” a single off of Hey Kid. 

“I wrote it when I moved back to Columbus and I was reflecting on everything I had been through going to school in Athens. I had some relationships that came and went in my time there that really had an impact on me. It’s kind of a looking back song; nothing can be the same as it was during that particular time of your life. It’s an anthem; it’s a song about growing and moving forward and letting go of things,” said Perley. “Athens will always be a home spot for us. But you have to keep moving forward, you need to go wherever inspiration takes you when it hits. I’m just excited to see what happens next.”