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"I don’t think I could ever write a song in front of someone" - An interview W/ Evie Eve
Born in South Wales but now operating out of Manchester is one of the brightest new Indie Folk talents, Evie Eve. Her music explores the most emotive, serene and cinematic corners of the genre, wrapping up her blissful vocal tones in a rich, swooning instrumentation. Her latest release 'One For Sorrow' begins as an intimate ballad that focuses on Evie's impressive vocal control before diving into a bigger production full of sweeping strings and a brooding brass line. The sheer emotive power of her vocals captivates attention throughout while this layered instrumentation gives her words that extra emphatic emphasis to give the track a bigger, poignant impact.
We caught up with her on the steps of Manchester's Castefield Bowl to find out what went into creating this new track and discover the inspirations behind her insightful lyrics.
Can you tell us a bit about what inspired the lyrical content behind your new track 'One For Sorrow'?
“I find it really hard to describe the meaning behind this one. Some songs are really obvious to you and everyone else what they mean, but this one is really hard to pinpoint. I guess it’s just about feeling lonely and not being able to connect with people properly in a romantic sense. That’s kind of where it started from and then it grew into something else".
Where do you feel most comfortable and creative writing your lyrics?
"In my room definitely. I don’t think I could ever write a song in front of someone because it’s such a personal thing and a lot of the time I’m just writing words and I don’t know what they mean until afterwards and I connect the dots. Writing the musical elements is okay because it’s just chords and creating melodies. I love doing that! But lyrics are just too personal”.
What first motivated you to start this new project?
"It was a lockdown thing! I hadn’t even really written any songs until the start of lockdown. I’d written small things but I didn’t really take it seriously until I had the time".
How do you feel you have developed as an artist since you first started this project?
“I definitely feel I’m developing a more definitive sound and also lyrically I used to write things very on the nose but now I like to be a little bit more poetic and metaphorical. In my first song ‘Faking It’ it’s very obvious what I’m talking about but now it’s more fun for me to write songs that are more metaphorical as pretentious as that sounds. I like to keep people guessing".
How do you formulate these more abstract and metaphorical lyrical ideas?
“A lot of it is kind of subconscious but I also like to tell stories about other people because I find it’s quite fun to distance yourself from what you’re talking about. I wrote one song called ‘Marital Martial’ which is from the perspective of a married couple and I enjoyed writing that because it’s got nothing to do with me and so there’s no reading into it. Other times you might tell a story within a song that is related to something you’ve experienced but you can distance the story enough so people won’t think it’s about you”.
With a lot of your inspiration coming more subconsciously do you ever find yourself wanting to write a song that is completely different from your current aesthetic?
“Yeah totally! It’s like deciding whether you want to write something that comes naturally to you and it be easy or challenge yourself and do something a bit more experimental”.
How closely did you work with your band on the new single?
"So I always write the melody, chords and structure on my guitar first and sometimes I’ll come up with little melodic ideas that would suit the violin sound for example. But on ‘One For Sorrow’ there’s a trumpet solo and Emily who’s in my band just made that up while we were practicing and I was like ‘That’s amazing! You have to keep that.’ so sometimes it progresses like that. It just depends on the song how much musical input we all have. With songs I’ve released before, I’ve written all the parts myself so this is the first song where it’s been a really big collaborative effort. They’re all my songs but it’s kind of evolved and we’re almost a band now which is really great".
Did you find it easy to work more collaboratively this time round and how did you find your new track developed after you have worked on it with your band?
"It was really fun to let go of the control a little bit and have confidence in people that know what they’re doing. They are great musicians and I knew they would write good things. If I don’t like something I’ll suggest trying something else but I’ve never had to say that because they always do great things! I think the initial inspiration for it is so distant from what it’s become now I literally have no idea what it’s about anymore! I have a vague idea but it’s just a rough translation of what it was in the moment when I was writing it".
Do you feel your songs change and develop from playing them live too?
“Songs definitely evolve the more times you play them live because you get different reactions from an audience and people tell you what they like about different parts of the songs".
Talking of playing live, the impact of Evie's layered musical constructions is best sampled in the live setting. She has two great shows coming up this week, the first is a free gig at Band On The Wall on October 5th supporting the fantastic Yasmin Coe and the second is a headline show at 33 Oldham Street on October 6th, supported by another incredible local talent Dee Rae (Check out our interview with dee Rae). We'll see you there!