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Evenson:Just Getting Started

by HQ

It is Evenson’s first live show, but you’d never know it. Fans and friends of Evenson met at the Sultan Room on Feb. 1 to celebrate the young artist’s EP release, SADLY I STILL LOVE YOU.

The crowd is alive as fans and friends of his disco-meets-alternative-meets-light punk talent cheer him on. Behind Evenson is a set of talented instrumentalists. Above him is a show of lights, colors shifting to match each song’s aura.

Evenson is self made, self taught, and self motivated, leaving a cushy 9-5 and recording this entire EP from his home studio.

“I was doing marketing operations for Bloomburg and I was just like I don’t really want to do this so I took my money in my bank account and I built a studio,” Evenson said. “Basically, I have no money left and all this equipment that I’m staring at so I have to learn and teach myself…”

It’s an hour before his first live concert, but Evenson does not seem nervous. Instead, he gives off a friendly confidence, he’s humble, not cocky, but he does ooze wow factor with his tall stance, bold fashion and dark lens sunglasses.

The title track of the album, “SADLY I STILL LOVE YOU”, which is ironically the last song on the EP, delivers a funky synth, steady drums, and a catchy chorus.

The hit of the night was definitely “IF I EVER FEEL BETTER”, the first single on the EP. The song starts slow but quickly builds to a danceable chorus. This song also allows Evenson to show off his range, singing the chorus from a high soprano.

“LUNGS” has a small easter egg for Kanye West fans within the lyrics. Not to brag, but Evenson was impressed when I asked about it.

“Oh my goodness, the Ghost Town reference, that’s great ears,” Evenson said (again, insert humble brag here.) “I’m a big Kanye fan… I tend to listen to artists that have a contrast within their music. Like a juxtaposition, whether it’s introspectivity within the lyrics and there’s a contrast with the production.”

“LUNGS” is a great example of this, with an inviting intro and dynamic bass. The chorus is melodic and enigmatic of contemplative drives and big thoughts.

It’s also fun to see how Evenson can directly incorporate his role models while also introducing fans to his lyrical prose.

Evenson reminded us how dynamic live music can be, by shifting the crowd’s energy from moshing, to shoulder grooving, to arms in the air and drinks splashing around.

At 24, Evenson is aware that he doesn’t know everything. He finds solace in nature and comfort in the existential.

“I like places that give me an opportunity or space to lose myself within myself,” Evenson said. “It allows me to write from a more sincere place.”

While Evenson is newer to the music world, he comes off comfortable, like he knows who he is and where he stands as an artist. It’s respectable, rare even.

As with all of his music, all songs on the EP are capitalized. Reminiscent of Kendrick’s DAMN. or Tyler’s IGOR, it serves as a statement. It’s a yell rather than a low whisper. It says, I’m here and what I have to say matters.

“It feels anti-authority in a way and I like to align myself with a lot of those tropes. My music for the most part too,” Evenson said.

“Even being a Black kid making alternative pop, being introspective but yet still having that level of abrasiveness within the production itself…All caps is me showing the world that I’m going to do things my way no matter what, the music is going to speak for itself and not the title.”

Interview and words by Samantha Berlin

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