The band formerly known as bear became Evinair and is comprised of Will Livingston, Elias Euler and Bruce Butler. I spent some time with their recent release Redamancy, which builds a solid foundation for the band to work from. Evinair boiled down is a rock band but they merge other styles like alternative, pop and even a bit of post-rock. The one word that kept popping into my mind while listening was “clean.” I say that in a good way. There is something about the production that almost gives the band a refined feel.
The guitars are sometimes distorted but it’s never the high-end sheen you would hear on a metal album. I think some of the refined, clean energy the band has which is comparable to bands like Local Natives or even The National comes from the use of reverb. The band never over does it like a lot of other bands do but they do have an affinity for creating a sense of space.
First up is "Let Go" which combines reverb-laced guitars, clean bass and dynamic drums. The vocals cut through the mix and it was nice being able to hear the lyrics. The song fits into the pop/rock category but also has traces of post-rock. The main lyric "just to see if we make it through the night" seems like it will resonate with a younger audience. It has the mixed implication of feelings like wonder, excitement and apprehension wrestling with each other - something that tends to happen when you’re younger.
“Clear Eyes” was a highlight amongst consistently well-written songs. The song is atmospheric yet kinetic which is an extremely effective combo that I don’t think most people can resist. There aren’t a lot of words on this song but that doesn’t mean it isn’t prolific. The meaning of the words are straightforward but it is something almost everyone can relate to. The vocalist sings, “It’s my fault and now I see / What’s enough for you Is not enough for me / I thought that we were your everything / But now I see with clear eyes.”
“Lessons” delves into a similar subject matter as “Clear Eyes.” It also happens to have some of my favorite lines about loneliness. I have to admit “This is the time of year / That I could only ever want you here / I am just a twin size body swimming in a queen size bed” is poignant and poetic. “We Are” is the most radio friendly song out of the batch. The song is upbeat, adheres to some predictable tropes and gets stuck in your head after the first time you hear it.
The band closes with “Redamancy” which transitions from a melancholy ballad to epic Coldplay-esque outro. They definitely made the right choice in putting this song as the closer.
Evinair is unique in that they are balancing mainstream viability and indie cred with these songs. It’s hard to put into words but you hear both sides (as if they are distinct) coalesce into harmony within these six tracks. Redamancy certainly seems like a well thought out EP that wasn’t just thrown together. The band is like a surgeon tending to minute details while also realizing the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
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