Armed with the uniquely eclectic, evocative new EP Heartbreak Hangover, we caught an interview with songwriter and artist Evelyn, to find out more about her journey as a creative, her songwriting process, the project itself, and her plans for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Evelyn – thank you for your time with the interview, and massive congratulations for the wonderful new EP. To introduce things – why music, what does writing songs bring out in your life?
Thank you so much for the interview and for listening to the EP, Heartbreak Hangover – for someone just breaking into the industry this means so much to me!
From a young age I knew that music would play a huge role in my life. When I was about 7 years old, my parents gifted my older sister an acoustic guitar and I cried because I wanted one – that same guitar is the one I use today.
I’ve always struggled with expressing my emotions, and I feel music allows me to do that in a way that’s creative; I love that with music, there can be so many layers to expressing myself.
Tell me about the EP Heartbreak Hangover – what do these songs encapsulate, and what does the collection represent in terms of your style and artistic angle?
I’ve thought a lot about what songs to release for my first collection; I narrowed it from about 10 songs, and honestly, these songs just felt right. These songs I’ve written between 2019-2023 and I’ve experienced a lot of growth, not just as a songwriter and musician, but as a person. To my point in the last question, I think you can tell which songs dig into deeper emotions as I’ve learned to do that with myself and translate it into songs.
A lot of my music is inspired by my own experiences, but also other people’s experiences.
“One of my favorite parts of writing is not being restricted to who & what I write about. Some of the songs were difficult to write because I had to put myself back into difficult times in my life & relive those emotions in that moment.”
Sad in San Francisco and Letters are about the same relationship at the same point in time but different perspectives, and it was so fun writing with a lot of thought and intention.
I used to only write songs from my own perspective but I realized writing about the same thing over and over again always led me to be uninspired. The songs from Heartbreak Hangover really pushed me to try out different styles and get out of my comfort zone, and I’m really happy with it all.
From the mellow ballad of Sad in San Francisco, to the electrified uplift of Someone New, the EP seems to tell its tale in sequence; how important was arrangement, and was it concept or mood that led the way?
At first listen, this may sound like a heartbreak album, but it’s about healing. As you mentioned, the track list starts off slow and sad and ends with an upbeat and hopeful song. The sequence tells a story of someone who is sad in the present, reflecting on the past, then letting go of that past and loving yourself.
The track list is in the order of most recently written songs first to my older songs – which was not planned at all. Not sure what this implies… maybe I’m more sad than I was a few years ago but that’s for me and my therapist to unpack lol.
Initially, I was not sure why my heart gravitated to these 5 songs when I first started thinking about releasing an EP. The songs are all so different in their own way. I had already finished 3 songs and was working on a few others when I came up with the concept of Heartbreak Hangover, but I did not have a magic recipe I crafted when it came to choosing which songs to put on the EP. It was a random assortment of songs I wrote that happened to have a few common denominators. Once I chose the songs, I noticed they were all about heartbreak and mentioned a bar, drinking, or alcohol of some sort. And that’s how the name Heartbreak Hangover came to be.
As far as the order of the tracks, I just liked how they looked on paper, so I was not intentional about the order of tracks, but it flowed really well. It all came naturally – and I guess that’s why I chose these songs, they all just felt right.
Which song from the EP would you perform to a small live audience, if you could only choose one, and why?
Someone New. It’s such a dynamic song that I can adjust to be a sad girl song or a diss track – it’s an incredibly fun one to experiment with and perform. I actually wrote it as a ballad at first with just my voice and a piano. Also, it’s the first song I’ve ever written!
In what way do you feel that taking drumming lessons in your early years impacted your approach to songwriting and performance – it seems like a unique edge that could completely change a creative’s perspective, to come from a rhythmically informed background?
It has definitely made me extremely picky when it comes to percussion on my music. I’ve taken guitar, French horn, and drum lessons when I was younger – and while it was the instrument I progressed the least on, drums were my absolute favorite to play. I always felt just so good and energized playing the drums. Because I go off of what feels right, I’m not very good at articulating what I need and want percussion wise in a song because I just need to feel/hear it and say “yes that’s it”. So I’m sure it’s made it a bit difficult to work with me sometimes.
Who have you been listening to lately, and who would be your dream collaborator?
Phoebe Bridge, Taylor Swift, Blanks, Maisie Peters, Noah Kahn, Cage the Elephant, Lana Del Rey, MALIA, Imani Graham, Ashe….so many! I would love to work with Maisie Peters. I love her wide range of songs and styles and I feel like we’d have so much fun being a little (a lot) delusional together.
What’s a live show like from Evelyn, and where can fans catch you performing in the coming months?
I love making music and writing, but it’s very much a part time job (for now!) I do have a full time career in business that takes over my life. However, the next few months I’m working on other projects and I’m hoping to play open mic nights in Denver and smaller, more intimate shows. Maybe you’ll see me at Red Rocks.
Is there anything else we should know?
I am so grateful for ANYONE that listens to my music – friends, family, strangers, fans, everyone! THANK YOU. Don’t forget to do what you love and love what you do!!
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