By Nick Manduley

January 4, 2021

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Photo Credit: Tori Colucci

South Jersey singer-songwriter Donavan Evans independently released his sophomore solo EP Magenta on November 15th. The album, mixed and produced by Rob Richards, is the follow up to Cliche Love Entry, which Evans released over the summer.

Magenta takes flight with the energetic tracks “Lucky Cigarette” and “New Orleans.” "Lucky Cigarette” fuses twinkly harmonic-laden tapping riffs with the kind of upbeat drumming that makes heads bop. “New Orleans” trades the guitar tapping for bright, heartily strummed chords over a punk beat. The layering of Evans’ sultry vocal performances (both sung and screamed) create a wave of emotion that passes over the listener during the final chorus.

The EP pushes forward into a more mellow section with the tunes “Ecstasy Hennessy” and “Red Melted Candle.” “Ecstasy” offers slow jam vibes, starting off with an acoustic guitar followed by a full band swelling around it. “Red Melted Candle” is an entirely acoustic track that treads into indie-folk territory, as it features harmonica and banjo; a full-band version of the song is available on Cliche Love Entry.

Neighborhood Girl” boosts the release to the same energy originally seen in the first couple tracks. The emotive lead guitar in the intro gives way to a catchy verse and clean-toned riffage. Magenta draws to a close with “Apple Cotton Swishers,” which leaves the listener craving more after hearing the wondrous instrumentation in this final tune. The full-sounding guitar chords against the biting leads give way to the mellow, banjo-laden verse. The harmonized chorus and subsequent riffs lead to a full-band fade-out, leaving only the melancholy vocals and a haze of feedback.

The Magenta EP is a unique entry into the realm of what could be considered emo music. The influence of folk stylings and math-rock style tapping riffs give Donavan Evans a unique edge for those who may fervently try to categorize the Magenta EP. The truth is that Evans can’t be pigeonholed into any singular genre; their particular intersection of folk, punk, and emo may not sound entirely unfamiliar to fans of major indie-emo acts, but the implication that Evans could be considered utterly identical to such acts holds no water in any way.

Listen to Magenta!

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Nick Manduley is an aspiring music journalist and musician from Bradley Beach, NJ. He is currently an intern at Relix Magazine where he helps produce and curate online content. Since 2016, he has provided guitars and vocals for the local punk band Drive, Kid. Drive, Kid released an EP and a full-length album in 2018, and are currently recording their sophomore LP.

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