Enabler is the first single to be taken from Evans the Death’s new album Expect Delays, out 2nd March via Fortuna POP! (Europe) and Slumberland (USA). Recorded again with producer Rory Atwell (Test Icicles, Warm Brains), the new long-player bristles with underlying tension and veers from rip-roaring noise to quiet contemplation, underpinned by Katherine Whitaker’s extraordinary voice. Enabler opens with a sonic onslaught of fuzz and feedback before the rhythm section explodes into life and the song kicks in, Whitaker’s distinctive vocals doubled up like sinister twins prowling around a gorgeously discordant melody.
So far ‘Enabler’ has received numerous plays at BBC 6Music and were chosen as Shaun Keaveny’s ROTW w/c 12th Jan. They were also up for the Rebel Playlist on Steve Lamacq’s show. Huw Stephens over at Radio 1 has supported them and they had two plays from John Kennedy at XFM and have been added to XFM’s Evening Playlist.
Still barely out of their teens, there’s a tremendous sense across Expect Delays of a band coming into their own, honing a plethora of influences to make a sound that is uniquely them. Each song on the album has a different feel to it: some of them are melodic and pretty; some of them heavy and dissonant; and some of them are, to quote guitarist Dan Moss, “a bit strange”. While retaining the post-punk and 90s alt-rock inspired elements that peppered their debut, the music is more expressive, heavier and more experimental, and the lyrics more nuanced, the sense of despair leavened by sharp wordplay and humour.
The unsettling undercurrent of melancholy and hopelessness that pervades the record has its roots in the last three years, spent eking out an existence on the poverty line in Cameron’s Britain, leaving them with a succession of minimum-wage jobs and unemployment benefits interviews. As guitarist Dan Moss relates, the album is about “being in London and feeling hopeless and a bit lost. Not having any money, relationships falling apart, things just not connecting or going anywhere and getting absolutely wasted all the time.”
Named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, the band’s 2012 self-titled inaugural album saw critical acclaim from the likes of Q, Uncut and Artrocker, as well as radio play on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music and XFM. Following the departure of bassist Alanna McArdle to Joanna Gruesome, the band regrouped around the core of brothers Dan and Olly Moss and singer Katherine Whitaker for the recording of Expect Delays. Drummer James Burkitt was recruited from Leeds’ band The ABC Club to complete a lean and taut new four-piece.
More ambitious and focused than their previous record, whilst sacrificing none of their spontaneity and vitality, Expect Delays is a supremely inventive and intelligently crafted album from a band who have suffered for their art, and used that experience to inform and nourish their work. Expect no more delays, Evans the Death have arrived.
7 February – Sebright Arms, London (supporting Flowers)