[Album Review] Evy Jane- Breaking
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Release Date: October 21, 2016
Label: King Deluxe

Vancouver-based duo Evy Jane lays soulful melodies and grooves over dark, expansive backdrops. The result on Breaking is both intriguing and unsettling.

The layers of washed-out guitar riffs and synth drones supporting Evelyn Jane Mason’s lightly distorted vocals create a texture appropriate to the themes of separation and struggle to communicate. There’s a distance between artist and audience. The vocal echoes and background noise on songs like “The Half You Hide” make it hard to fully understand the lyrics—maybe too much clarity would defeat the purpose.

Hints of soul and R&B distinguish Evy Jane’s sound from other alternative or experimental music. “Dolphin Freestyle” almost feels like a two-minute intermission, a chance for Mason to let loose with a simple beat and looped background vocals. But “Lover’s Soul” and “Seawater Salt” effectively combine the album’s fuller, edgier sound with familiar rhythms.

The album ends with its simplest, clearest arrangement: “Under Your Weather” lives in the space between moving on and desire for re-connection. Mason sings, “And I spent so many hours/thinking of things I cannot touch/thinking ‘bout you so very much.” Her vocals are cleaner here than anywhere else on the album. Being plainer, this song also felt more deeply emotional.

Breaking is not an easy listen overall, but it wouldn’t be nearly as artistically interesting if it was.