Brooklyn-based indie quintet Evelyn has just released their second EP, "Slowly". The 4-track EP is a propulsive, emotionally-charged follow up to the group’s 2017 debut, "Light Full". Crafted by Dani Lencioni (songwriter, lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist), her partner Drew Broussard (lead guitar), and close friend and longtime musical collaborator Zachary Joy Smith (bass), the recordings feature backing vocals by Jordan Kisner and drums by the band’s current drummer Brian Paul as well as Phillip Harris.
Lyrical, sonically rich, and at times playful, Slowly is an inquiry into desire, emotional disorientation, and self-acceptance. The songs were written as Lencioni settled into a serious relationship with Broussard and began to navigate the ways in which a pair of intense, deeply internal people can create a space full of love and support. The title track, “Slowly,” contemplates the futility of temperance at the beginning of a significant life change. Lencioni explains, “I had both just started seriously writing songs and also had just gotten out of a long-term relationship when I met Drew and then pretty quickly started this band. A friend told me an expression his grandfather used (in Spanish) which translated means ‘Dress me slowly, for I am in a hurry.’ Basically take your time with this important thing so you don’t mess it up. But I think by that point I was sick of being careful and was so anxious about the timeline of my life, and I felt like I was giving over to everything I actually wanted all at once. This album came from a sort of
conflation of joy and panic.”
The last song on the EP, “Shadow,” personifies this anxiety as a shadow-self, a desperate, determined woman who visits the narrator uninvited, interrupting and disturbing her sprint towards happiness. The chorus is a driving question about the effect of anxiety and depression on a relationship: “Is my shadow gonna get me, or will I get to you / Is my shadow gonna eat us up?”
Produced by Lora-Faye Ashuvud (Arthur Moon) and Andrew Sheron and recorded at Buddy Project in Queens, NY by Martin Fowler and Coral Audio in Princeton, NJ by Sheron, the songs on Slowly feature the band’s unique combination of vintage rock with carefully built harmonies and indie shimmer. A leap forward from their debut, the rhythms are more intricate, the song structures are more complex, the sound design — featuring elements like a vintage tape echo machine, a hand-roll piano played through a delay pedal, and performed stereo feedback— is more textured.
Throughout the album, one gets the sense that Lencioni is searching for clarity at hyper speed, catapulting through bouts of conflicting feelings: anger and sweetness, caution and desire, structure and space, safety and danger. Lencioni often finds inspiration by taking a word or idea from something she’s reading, an overheard phrase, a mundane coincidence — “Moon Head” was inspired by looking up from reading a horoscope to see a work of bizarre contemporary art (Ajay Kurian’s “Childermass”)— and transposing it onto a personal experience.
The album release will be accompanied by the debut of the band’s first music video, a collaboration between Lencioni, Kirstin Huber (award-winning graphic designer, dancer, Brooklyn Magazine’s 30 under 30), and innovative video artist Kameron Neal. The video finds a lone dancer (Huber) immersed in an abstract landscape –created by projecting analog watercolor paintings on the dancer, dressed all in white, against a white wall. Her movements vacillate from intentional to chaotic. Notably, Huber underwent double hip surgery at the age of 26, only after which did she decide to pursue her latent dream of becoming a dancer — so she relates to the song’s message. “The song perfectly encapsulates what my journey from disability to dancing has felt like. To me, it's about losing yourself and finding yourself at the same time. It's about taking a
plunge into something that you're scared of but want more than anything. I think anyone who's been deep in love or gone through a big transformation can relate to that,” says Huber.