New Music Review: Evans The Death; “Telling Lies” (LISTEN)
The most immediately striking aspect of “Telling Lies,” the first single from Evans The Death’s upcoming debut, is Katherine Whitaker’s vocals. She has a gorgeous voice and a way with a melody — her phrasing is impeccable.
But Evans The Death (whose name is taken from the undertaker in Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood) has a lot more to offer beyond Whitaker’s vocals and the song rewards repeated listens. There’s the fuzzy guitars, including a great stun-guitar solo that calls to mind early Weezer, and the way the band chugs along with tightly wound, punky energy while remaining a cohesive unit. The song gives the illusion of being ramshackle — until you realize how precisely synchronized the band is, locked in with each other perfectly right from the get-go; and how great the production is, with all the elements of the bands’ sound blended perfectly.
The B-side, “Morning Voice,” is about as different from “Telling Lies” as you can get (always a neat trick). It’s mostly acoustic — starting with just acoustic guitar, piano, and Katherine Whitaker’s plaintive vocals. Some electric (but mostly clean) guitars eventually enter the fray, and a melodic bass part plays the perfect counterpoint to Whitaker’s vocals. The song will make an appearance on the album as well — but in a completely different version. As Evans The Death put it: “We took a long time to arrive at the sound we have now; when we first started out we were a folksy acoustic duo and this I think is the best example of that.”
They pull off both sounds extremely well, hopefully a sign that the group will display similar range on their full-length. Indeed, they pull off the more delicate approach on “Morning Voice” so well, and it suits Whitaker’s vocals so perfectly, that it would be a shame if they abandoned writing songs like this completely in the future.
“Telling Lies” will be available as a 7” on Fortuna POP! in the UK on February 27th, and on Slumberland Records in the U.S. the following week.
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