Evarose have been together for close to six years but Dannika Webber, Connie Rait, Imogen Leslie and Robyn Griffiths have been in bands for much longer than that. “It’s just always what we’ve done since school. We’ve never really thought about doing anything else, and everything that we do is towards the band. It’s all geared towards that.”
After waiting a very, very long time, the band are finally set to release their debut, ‘Invisible Monsters’. From the opening escape of ‘Routes’ through the sprawling cinema of ‘Telephonic’ until the shimmer of ‘Someone Else To Blame’, the band’s vision is sharp and in focus. The good thing that comes to those that wait? It’s this record.
Recorded in September 2014, the band spent the next year and a bit bouncing between lawyers, record labels and themselves before ending up on the brink of signing a deal. They then decided to walk away. “We pulled out mainly because we’d taken so long and we really wanted to get ‘Invisible Monsters’ out. We got to the point where we questioned if we were even going to release this album,” explains Dannika. “But we always knew we would.
“Sometimes we were just tempted to leak it ourselves. We couldn’t be bothered to wait and in the end, it got a bit ridiculous. I’m like the most impatient person as well so it was pretty damn frustrating, but now we’re really glad that we sacked it all off. As much as I’d like to say I wish we’d done it all sooner… I guess everything happens for a reason. Hopefully it’ll be the right time.”
Inspired by “life at that time”, the band’s debut is made up of “anything we were listening to, and we were writing exactly what we wanted to write.” ‘Invisible Monsters’ is a record where anything goes. “Love, family, general confusion about life and the things you face growing up. Quite a lot of it is based around feeling a bit crazy and the things that help you feel not so crazy.”
Across the record, the band look at relationships and the way people interact with one another and – despite keeping their distance (“I don’t like to be really specific with song meanings”) – the eleven tracks of ‘Invisible Monsters’ find their way to the heart and the head. “It’s just looking at the world all around you. I worked in a call centre for a while and I wrote a lot of the lyrics sat at my desk, with the ringing going round and round and obviously, that’s so mind-numbingly boring.
“I take a lot of inspiration from the books I read. Things like The Bell Jar [which also recently inspired Muncie Girls’ debut ‘From Caplan To Belsize’] – and Prozac Nation, as well as a lot of Chuck Palanuik,” which is where the title ‘Invisible Monsters’ comes from.
“To me, ‘Invisible Monsters’ is about all those things that are around you. There’s that saying, always be nice to someone ‘cause you never know what they’ve got going on. And it’s true. You never know what all the hard things are in their life, everyone’s got those invisible monsters. That’s what it’s about. You don’t always tell everyone the worst things that are happening, you just get on with your life. I think everyone’s got that.”
‘Invisible Monsters’ isn’t a bold statement of intent: it’s an assured promise. Building on their previous two EPs and a handful of singles, if the band sound confident it’s because they are. Despite having the record at their fingertips for eighteen months, they haven’t changed a thing since they signed off on it. “We’ve just recorded more and more demos for another album.
“The thing is, we could have gone back and changed things, added or taken things off songs but it gets to the point where, a year and half later, you’re almost in a different place. I didn’t want to mess with the way it felt was as a whole album, I didn’t want to start having different parts of my life just slotted in there for the sake of it. I feel like the album captures that time and place and it works well as an album.”
Despite getting excited about the new material they’d written, Evarose didn’t want to mess with the dormant beast. “We all had a clear vision for what we wanted for the songs, the album, the artwork, the videos, for everything. It’s all worked out, some of it even better than we ever could have hoped.”
“It was our first full-length, none of us had ever done more than five tracks on a CD before and it was loads of fun. We got to a point where we feel like our songwriting was a lot better and it was nice to make a whole piece of art that we are all really proud of. It felt like a new edge, a new direction for us. It wasn’t quite what we were writing before and we were really excited about that. Obviously I want people to like it but if they don’t we’re still really proud of it. We got to the point where it didn’t feel like there was anything else we could have done. We made the best record we could.”
Taking matters into their own hands, ‘Invisible Monsters’ is being self-released via PledgeMusic. “We were really worried, we’ve been away so long but we just had to go for it. It felt like a much better option than going with a label.” Those fears quickly subsided, as the reaction to the campaign was “a bit mental” to start with and has carried on gathering traction ever since. Vindicated for trusting their gut, there’s only one frightening thing left to tackle, and that’s people backing them. “It’s kind of scary that someone could like our band that much, it’s crazy but it’s cool.”
Taken from the June issue of Upset, out now – order your copy here.