TUNE Natalie Evans - Lyre Song
“Lyre Song” is the third single to drop ahead of Natalie Evans's debut album 'Better At Night' (which follows on 25th May) via Small Pond recordings. Melding folk, pop, experimental and classical influences, this latest track follows the “In Trees” and “Hard To Forget” singles, which gained support including BBC Introducing, WNYU Radio, Clash, Women That Rock and Punktastic, as well as soaring streaming figures. While winning new fans, Evans’s new material has also been met with excitement by existing followers of her work (which includes vocals on Delta Sleep’s “Camp Adventure” – a cult hit with more than 1.5 million Spotify plays).
With a distinctive playing style and finely tuned songwriting sensibilities, Kent-born Londoner Natalie Evans’s music glows with a rare self-contained grace, as she wraps her minimalist and deceptively simple lyrical lines in winning hooks and harmonies.
“Lyre Song” is distinguished by the heavenly tones of the lyre harp, an instrument that she picked up recently to add to her virtuosity on guitar, harp and piano. A hazy scattering of unusual percussion sounds were conjured from reverb-heavy stamps and claps, and walls, floors, pillows and random objects being beaten with sticks, in the cavernous barn-turned-studio of producer Martin Ruffin. This bittersweet and summery soundscape is the backdrop for a tale of twenty-something distraction, a crisis of confidence and fear of being left behind as friends disperse for worldly adventures; the songwriting style is infused with inspiration from the likes of Taken By Trees and Joanna Newsom to Owen and Sufjan Stevens, and the delicately powerful outro leaves an emotional imprint.
The original is joined on the single by a bonus Alternate Version; a subversive take on the song featuring production from Samuel Organ (who has received support from Mary Anne Hobbs, Late Junction, Tom Ravenscroft and Stuart Maconie for work including his Mount Bank solo project and as a member of The Physics House Band).
“Lyre Song” is one of several tracks on 'Better At Night' that find Evans strolling and dancing through a nostalgic nocturnal hinterland – exploring the potential for longing, reflection, and gaining (or losing) perspective, between dusk and dawn. As the layers build up and then peel away, the album draws towards a triptych of instrumental piano-led “Postscripts”, providing an unexpected yet effortless transition back into the waking world.
Although she’d had no classical training, a fascination with classical music inspired Evans to learn piano and harp in recent years, her talent and studious approach leading her to achieve an exceptionally high standard. These instruments add to her mastery of the guitar, which began as a teen hobby and became something of an obsession when she discovered the finger-picking style that she has gone on to make her mainstay.
Evans has inspired comparisons with folk sensation and fellow harpist Joanna Newsom, while she is >>> influenced as a songwriter by eclectic artists including Jeffrey Lewis, Warpaint, Björk, Sufjan Stevens, Taken By Trees (solo project of The Concretes' Victoria Bergsman) and TTNG. Her early career has seen her winning fans via self-releases including the “Houses” EP, and the aforementioned Delta Sleep hook-up. She has also worked with TTNG (Sargent House) side-project The Otter Years, and Apidae (Dumont Dumont), and released a two-track split with US rising star Yvette Young, which tied in with a tour of California. Evans has played extensively in the UK, alongside established acts including Laucan (Sunday Best), Tall Ships (FatCat), Tera Melos (Sargent House), and Big Scary Monsters signings Delta Sleep and Tangled Hair. Her upcoming debut album marks the coming of age for this constantly surprising artist and captivating performer.