ELEANOR MCEVOY ‘NAKED MUSIC’ Released 16th February 2016
ELEANOR MCEVOY ALONE IN THE STUDIO, HER MUSIC STRIPPED TO THE BONE
Naked Music is the title of Eleanor McEvoy’s new album, recorded alone in the studio to create an intimate collection of her music at its most raw – one instrument, one voice, performed live.
Best known for her songs Sophie, Harbour, The Secret of Living and of course Only A Woman’s Heart, Eleanor’s new album features exclusive artwork by the famed painter Chris Gollon. Starting in February, Eleanor will be presenting her new show “Naked…Live”
The seeds for Eleanor and Chris’ artist collaboration were sown after Eleanor bought Chris’ painting ‘Champagne Sheila’ after spotting it in a London gallery. Before leaving, Eleanor left some of her music for Chris and his agent to listen to. Cut to Norwich in February 2015 and Chris Gollon’s national touring exhibition “Incarnation, Mary and Women from the Bible” in the beautiful Norman Cathedral has just opened with the artist in attendance. Eleanor visits the exhibition, lunches with Chris and David and squeezes them both into her sold-out ‘ALONE’ club show at the city’s The Bicycle Shop venue. The outcome: heaps of chat, mutual respect and admiration and a wish to find some way of working together.
Eleanor was, at the time, finishing some recording where she was “studio-performing”, playing hers and others’ songs as she might at her solo shows. The recordings have a very exposed intimacy, so it seemed a possibility that Chris should be asked to do a painting for the cover in this solitary context.
As a body of work, Eleanor’s recordings acquired the name ‘Naked Music’, which would give a better focus to the two artists’ desire for mutual expression. Being offered this title, and with some song suggestions, Chris was so taken with the songs he completed four paintings in response – two on the ‘Naked’ theme, and two others related to song titles and lyrics. The first ‘Dreaming of Leaving’ was written by Eleanor and Lloyd Cole. The other ‘Lubbock Woman’, a downtrodden cameo, is a song by West Texan legend Terry Allen. The paintings were such a hit, that all four talked their way into the Naked Music CD artwork.
The images, the CD artwork, sat in pride of place in the Metropolis Studio and exerted some influence on the mastering and final track order. To recognise the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in July 2015, the Art of Peace Foundation commissioned producer Rupert Hine to produce the album Songs for Tibet II including Eleanor amongst others, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Elbow, Howard Jones and Bob Geldof.
“… once Eleanor McEvoy launched into her fiery set, accompanied by nothing more than her guitar, fiddle and glass-shattering vocal cords, we knew we were in for a fearsome night of music…A lone performer plying a singular trade with considerable élan.” – Siobhan Long, Irish Times
“Her voice is clear and potently charged, one hundred percent believable; when her songs are bitter the acid burns your eyes, when they are sad you can taste the tears.” – Sean Laffey, Irish Music Magazine
“McEvoy’s voice has a depth of expression born from living the songs rather than just singing them. It’s a genuine privilege to be on the outside looking in.” – Jackie Hayden, Hot Press
Wexford Opera Fringe Festival October 2015: “It was yet one more triumphant outing for a musical wizard and a woman of immense talent.” Wexford Echo
New York Times “McEvoy has the skills of a first rate songwriter. She gives her songs full fledged melodies, not just a repeated phrase or two”
Washington Post “McEvoy restricts her lyrics to the simplest of sentiments and marries these universal aphorisms to sturdy hooks that she sings in a lovely voice”
Billboard “clever, heartfelt lyrics and a melody that quietly circles the brain before taking a permanent hold…”
Boston Globe “Her traversal of country, Celtic, and cosmic bar room styles is exhilarating”