Evangeline Gentle - Ordinary People
Static Roots Festival - stay safe sessions - episode #021
“Evangeline Gentle’s self-titled album is a triumph… it’s a satisfying expression of an artist discovering their sound”
The amazing Evangeline Gentle, a Scottish born folk singer living in Canada, was supposed to play the Static Roots Festival 2020 when the world came to a halt. For our “stay safe sessions” series, Evangeline recorded a video for the song “Ordinary People” off her self-titled debut album which is produced by Canadian treasure, Jim Bryson.
Let’s just have a look at what the CBC wrote about Evangeline:
“Evangeline Gentle's voice communicates an aching warmth that comes with knowing hardness and choosing softness instead. I didn't know anything about them before this self-titled debut, produced by the great Jim Bryson, and every time I listen to the record, I'm blown away anew by their songwriting and the space they're carving out across multiple genres — indie pop, alt-folk, singer-songwriter — in a way that feels effortless. Gentle and Bryson finding their way into each other's orbits makes sense, as Gentle's incredible talent recalls the great Kathleen Edwards, a frequent collaborator of Bryson's.”
We put together the “stay safe sessions” series not only to present great music and amazing talents, but also to support the musicians during these difficult times. If you would like to support the artist, please PayPal to:
About Evangeline Gentle
Rich, sweet, and lush with vibrato. These are only a few of the unmistakable qualities that constitute Evangeline Gentle’s fervent timbre. But make no mistake; they are more than an accomplished voice – their songwriting possesses authenticity and depth as rare and unique as their own journey.
Born on the Northeast coast of Scotland, Evangeline has live performance in their blood. Queer, and passionate about social justice, Evangeline believes in the good-naturedness of people and our capabilities of growing together.
Evangeline’s a cappella EP You and I is streaming now on all platforms. Their debut LP, produced by Jim Bryson (Kathleen Edwards, Oh Susanna) at his Stittsvile, Ontario studio Fixed Hinge and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Philip Shaw Bova (Bahamas, Feist), is also available now on all platforms via Sonic Unyon Records.
For Gentle, this album is about far more than just musical achievement.
“I was 19 when I started writing the album and 22 when I finished it — years that offered major coming-of-age experiences that began solidifying the principles I want to live guided by,” Gentle confesses. “During those years, I trudged through periods of deep self-doubt, often wondering if I should give up. As a child I believed performing was my inevitable fate. Somewhere along the road to adulthood I internalized a lot of messaging about my queerness as something that made me inherently less gifted and valuable as an artist. In a sense, each song on this record is a step toward re-establishing childlike ambition and spirit.
“The album’s overarching theme is the pursuit of open-heartedness,” they add. “It’s driven by the belief that it takes extreme strength to be vulnerable but that the rewards of doing so are far greater than those of being closed-off in the name of self-preservation. That wasn’t intentional. Only when the album was finished did it dawn on me that this idea was the thread stitching these songs together.”
The album’s ten tracks make for a powerful introduction to this Hamilton-based singer songwriter. “Ordinary People” and “The Strongest People Have Tender Hearts” celebrate the strength it takes to stay soft in a world that can harden you with a single headline. “Drop My Name” champions the voice of someone no longer willing to be taken advantage of. “Sundays” is a sweet and honest exploration of insecurity in our romantic relationships. “Neither of Us” and “Long Time Love” are love songs for the modern day world, while “So It Goes” is a nostalgic retelling of teenhood and summer love. “Even If” and “Digging My Grave” are more meditative tracks that share vulnerable truths about depression, drinking and recovering from self-sabotaging habits. “Good and Guided” is a hopeful closing song to this album, uniting listeners with the question “How do we become good and guided by the heart?”.
At only 23 years of age, Evangeline’s accolades are already accumulating at an impressive rate. They were awarded Emerging Artist at the 2015 Peterborough Folk Fest, Best Female Vocalist of the year at the 2015 Wire Awards, and have shared stages with notable artists such as Basia Bulat, Craig Cardiff, Matt Andersen, Terra Lightfoot, Sam Weber, Lee Harvey Osmond, and more.
executive producer: Dietmar Leibecke, https://staticrootsfestival.com
intro/post production: Frank Koch, http://studio-koch.de
intro riff: Rookie - Sunglasses, https://rookietheband.bandcamp.com/track/sunglasses
read more about the “stay safe sessions” project here...