Introducing evanjack

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When I first heard the music of evanjack I instantly knew I was listening to something special. I am a sucker for vocals that are authentic, a little rough around the edges and soaked in a soul drenched tone. This is what you get from evanjack aka the London based musician Scott Cousins. Here is a songwriter who brings his own style of folk which is created from his passion of music and it’s art. To give you more information about evanjack I thought it would go straight to the source and ask Scott some questions. I’m pleased to say he was more than happy to give us an insight into his world of music, this is what he had to say:

How did Evanjack get together and is there a story behind it’s name?

It’s hard to define an exact start point on evanjack as I guess it was not something I consciously decided to start doing, I picked up the guitar after discovering my Dad’s old record collection in the loft and fell in love with the sounds of Bob Dylan, Graham Nash & John Denver, amazing folk singers and beautiful song writers, I never had any musical training so I learned to play by copying these guys, then out of frustration of not being able to play anything else I starting writing my own songs never really with the intention of playing them for anyone.

It wasn’t until a couple of years later that the thought of performing crossed my mind and as most people I starting out tentatively playing for friends and at open mics and when you get some positive feedback from people confidence grows and so does the desire to perform, then it gets to a point where you have to define it by giving it a name… I always knew I didn’t want to perform under my own name as I liked the anonymity that a guise provided but also the flexibility, I never wanted to have to specify a fixed line up, which is how evanjack remains to this day, it has existed as a full band with drums, strings & keys, and as it does in it’s present form where it is just my guitar and vocal.

The name evanjack was born from a long forgotten teenage night which started with a bottle of a well recognised Tennessee Whiskey, was soundtracked by Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield singing “My Drug Buddy” and ended with lose of innocence, the rest I keep for me.

How would you describe your sound and which musicians have helped to influence this?

I always really struggle to provide a genre for my music as I find it constantly evolves, it’s definitely steeped in Folk music and the new album has a more ambient feel to it, so today I’m going to say Ambient Folk!!

Again it’s hard to list all the musicians who have influenced me as they are many and I really feel that everything you listen to can influence you if you look at it in the right way.  As I listed above Bob Dylan and Graham Nash were gifted to me by my dad and are where my roots lie, my sister loaned me the Lemonheads and Nirvana at I time when I was most impressionable and Radiohead, Damien Rice, Scott Matthews and Dry the River have all earned a special place within my record collection. But again ask me tomorrow and I’ll give a different answer.

When you are writing new music, what elements of your song writing process do you focus on?

Truthfully it depends on what the song needs, as with most things I don’t have a consistent approach to songwriting, sometimes it feels that songs can be gifted to you and other times I’ll have the lyrics to a song that I haven’t started writing yet or I’ll have all the guitar part down without a single lyric, then I obviously have to focus on the missing parts, I love the moment of clarity when it appears though and you know instantly that it’s right.

I think due to my lack of musical theory for me a song is about feeling which for me ultimately means the melody and the lyric, the moment I have something that makes me feel I know I’m on the right track.

Talking about your music, which is your favourite song you have written so far and why?

Gees… that’s like asking someone which of their children is their favourite!!

I think I’ll have to say Bones… The reason being that when you first meet someone and fall in love you will naturally find yourself writing songs about love, these first love songs are always written through rose tinted glasses, they can be beautiful on the surface but they lack scars… then if you’re lucky enough to stay together you will start writing songs about arguments & fights, these can also be beautiful but they are gritty and can take a lot from you, then if you’re even luckier and still stay together after all the fights, you’ll start writing love songs again, these are the real love songs, full frontal, the ones that can knock the breath out of you…

Bones was the first love song I had written in a while.

What are you future plans and goals for your music?

Music is something that will always be for me, I think the moment it stops becoming your own and you expect it to achieve something for you then you loose a connection… I love sharing my music with people and I adore the energy that performing in front of people can give.  I’m happy to follow the opportunities that open up, but even if nobody wants to listen, I will always be making my music.

Let’s talk a little more about the music from evanjack. ‘For Susan’ EP was released in 2011 which is a solid little release that has so much to offer and I can understand why it was received to great reviews. The way Scott has arranged his music is simply a delight to listen to. The way each musical layer is put together to deliver a captivating atmosphere is an art into itself. As soon as you press play and the song ‘Scathing’ begins it instantly sweeps you away and Scott’s voice, wow! Throughout this EP, you’re a treated to a vocal display that has so much soul and emotion it’s hard not to recognise this natural talent. When you listen to the title track ‘For Susan’ you know exactly what I mean. This song is stunning with it’s delicate tone.

In 2013 the follow up ‘The Darkness Within’ EP was released. I’ve got to admit, this is a superb EP with each song standing tall on it’s own due to the high calibre of it’s songwriting foundations. It definitely feels that this EP has more confidence to give us evanjack‘s best work so far. The album begins with my favourite song ‘Words Into Blindness’ and you are instantly treated to Scott’s stunning vocal style which is mesmerising,  not only on this song but throughout the five songs on offer. I love the use of the gentle drums and violins which add so much that the emotion it delivers is difficult to put into words, but in a good way. ‘Between The Sheets’ has the difficult job of following such an epic song but I think it’s holds it own quite nicely. The vocal style is a little different to the previous song, and a slightly darker and edgier feel, which is mirrored by the beat throughout the track. Next up is the song ‘Bones’ which is another great example of Scott’s vocal talents. This song is musically stripped back to a gentle sound that let’s you get lost in the lyrics which are expressed to perfection. This is one of those songs that you can really hear the heart that a musician puts into their work which is something that separates good musicians from the greats. I would say Scott is a great musician. ‘Ruined Minds’ continues this stripped back sound to let the vocals steal the show, another great example of brilliant songwriting. Last up ‘Darkness Within’ which takes you on a musical journey that lasts over 7 minutes and every moment showcases why you need to listen to the music from evanjack. The detail in the arrangement of its sound has a harmonious balance between detail and simplicity with the usual high standard of vocals that you come to expect. Stunning!

These two releases from evanjack are a must for any fan of music to own as this is what real musical talent sounds like and it has a special place amongst my CD collection. You can listen to both EP’s on full via his website evanjack.com or his Soundcloud page (click HERE). If you are enjoying to what you are hearing then you can download his music via the usual online stores of Amazon and ITunes or get it from his website (click HERE).

You can expect new music from evanjack soon as there is a debut album in the works called ‘Indiana, Rust & Bone’ and I am so excited to hear it. The evanjack website says ‘The new album with Québécois producer James Forest. Recorded on equipment that had been begged, borrowed or stolen over an intense period where they hid themselves away in isolation beneath London’s austere winter & recorded at any time creativity took hold. The result is an album that is ambient, rich in ethereal ache and touched with an edge of fearful optimism‘. My gut tells me that this will be something special and it’s always steered me right. When it get’s released you can expect to read about it here because as a fan, I will always be showing my support to his music. True fans always support the music that matters to them.

If you want to find out more about evanjack including future gigs then head over to their website (click HERE) or you can visit his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. So, do yourself a favour and check out the wonderful music of evanjack today!