Jennifer Evans - Works from the Dip and Foul
The perils of interviewing emerging artists with precious little to say was borne out recently when comparative newcomer Jennifer Evans regaled a journalist with childhood tales of weeping profusely while singing ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’.
Happily, there’s less of that sort of goofy pretentiousness on the Dubliner’s debut album, which signposts a musician of considerable talent. Jazz and hard rock influences permeate a batch of artfully constructed songs where her powerful vocals are very much to the fore.
A standout song, ‘Colours of Bruises’, grabs the listener by the throat while a brave and arrestingly low key cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ demonstrates her willingness to take risks.
While Evans’s execution might not always match the ideas in her head and some of the songs feel decidedly half-baked, despite some intriguing guitar work, there’s plenty here to appreciate.
Admirers of the great Patti Smith and the twice-Mercury nominated Anna Calvi could do a lot worse than make Evans’s acquaintance even if this Stephen Shannon-produced album gives the sense of one still trying to find their feet.
Evans launches the album with a full band show in Whelan’s, Dublin, on Friday, November 21.
Key tracks: ‘Colours of Bruises’; ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ (cover)