Going Sane | Bryan Evershed

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About the artist

Bryan Evershed: The Cure meets Van Morrison meets Elliot Smith meets Arcade Fire meets Ke$ha, or new-wave folk pop grunge for the Pitchfork generation.

Bryan Evershed, having just recorded his solid new promotional demo EP called Until The Sun Goes Down (EP), is embarking on a tour of open mikes as will as gigging at small venues around Los Angeles – paying his dues, building his chops, making new friends, and winning over as many new fans as possible. At the same time, he is "touring the internet" with his Song of the Week campaign (started September 2012). In the past year he's played some riveting acoustic sets at the House Of Blues Voodoo Lounge and the Viper Room's Acoustic Lounge (both legendary high-traffic Sunset strip venues), played a benefit show in Omura, Nagasaki in Japan, built a modest home studio, and set about refining/expanding his sound on what will be his first album of recorded material due out in early 2013.

His music recalls several of rock history's great lone wolves:
He's got Van Morrison's impassioned, improvised, soul-searching wail but without the R&B influence. He has Tim Buckley's earnest, jazz-tinged sensibility and vocal range, but he doesn’t indulge it or Buckley's penchant for melodrama. His voice is reminiscent of Robert Smith's edgy, plaintive tenor and not-quite-pop poppy-ness. His songs are concise, upbeat, punk-influenced numbers, and he's loud and sloppy like the Pixies. Then again, he's also a minimalist a la Elliott Smith. While he is - like Smith was - proficient at several instruments as well as competent behind the mixing board, Evershed's true instrument is his songwriting.

While his folk-meets-new-wave sound harkens the greats of the past, his songwriting is on par with current blockbuster indies like Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, and Bon Iver. He sticks to traditional pop structures and bass lines. His chord progressions and arrangements are simple and traditional, but the compositions themselves are complex, emotive, and sometimes strange – and the overall effect is something truly touching. Meanwhile, the rich, bold tones behind his voice and his infectious, straightforward melodies belie the depth and purpose of his lyrics.

Indeed, Evershed seems to be going where he wants to go musically, but he distinguishes himself not by veering far from the beaten path, but by walking the familiar path and pointing out the sights and sounds that others miss the first time through. Like the aforementioned lone wolves of rock, his style, his voice, and his lyricism aren't thought out or striven after, and for someone like Evershed, whose colorful, complex personality bursts from every word he sings, it's probably harder for him to be derivative than it is to be one-of-a-kind.

"My dad had a 1976 Epiphone Crestwood electric guitar and a small 20 Watt Gorilla amp. He could barely play it, but it was always around. I picked it up and goofed around on it more and more as I grew up. I would try to play the songs I liked by ear, but my unskilled hands would play something else completely. I started to keep track of these little gifts and claim them as songs of my own. I still do that in a way, but now find inspiration in life as much as other music. It's not really a matter of sitting down to write a song. For me, it's more a matter of keeping track of the musical and lyrical reflections I get of everything that happens around me.
Making music keeps me in touch with the mystery. I love it. It's always there in the background, but it can so easily go unnoticed as I deal with everyday things. My music draws my attention back to the extraordinary wonder of life. When I'm singing I'm suddenly on a different channel, in tune with that mysterious creative force investing itself in me, like a radio picking up on the right signal – loud and clear.
I don't know about you, but I don't listen to a song to get to the end of it, I listen just to listen. In a way, my music reminds me that life is like that – a celebration of itself."

No Good At Talking EP (October 2012)
Surprise EP (due out November 2012)
Until The Sun Goes Down EP (due out December 2012)