Evie Archer has taken quite a circuitous route to the career she always seemed destined for, that of singer-songwriter. She started writing at a very young age, but after forays into other professions and career paths, she always seemed drawn toward the creation of songs and the craft of writing. While in school atPrincetonUniversity, she continually wrestled with the inner voice telling her to pursue that goal.
She ended up working with hit songwriter Martin Briley and producer Gary Katz (Steely Dan) on the album Life In Sand. The album has been called a work that “harkens back to Carly Simon and Carole King” with the lyrical intimacy contained in the songs. Evie has also just released a Christmas single, “On Christmas Day,” that has been garnering airplay on SiriusXM’s Holly channel. I recently asked Evie about her work and her plans for the future.
How would you describe your music?
I usually say “singer-songwriter/rock/pop” to cover all my bases. Seriously, though, I find that my music is a little difficult to categorize in terms of genre. I try to keep all of the songs catchy and full of hooks, though. The songs are all personal and emotional, and I think that comes through in the introspective lyrics.
How does the writing process work for you?
I’ll sit down at the piano and start playing a chord progression that I like. I’ll hum or sing over the top of it, and sometimes words will pop up and I’ll sing along to this progression over and over until it leads somewhere. This is my organic writing process, which can take some time. My neighbors must hate when I’m writing! Occasionally, I’ll set out to write a song using a more “scientific” approach. I’ll have a technique or trick that I want to use, i.e. a major/minor shift, and build the song around that. That’s a nice way to write as well.
Who are your musical influences?
I don’t listen to a lot of music, but I really appreciate the songwriting of The Beatles, Carole King and Paul Simon. I especially admire the tight hooks of The Beatles, and I try to go for that when I’m writing. I think that Sarah McLachlan must have influenced my writing as well; I listened to her album Surfacing on repeat when I was in middle school.
Any particular songs that are favorites of fans or yourself?
“Close To You” and “Bad Behavior” seem to be fan favorites, which is nice, as they are my favorites as well. I think that both are really catchy, and I’m especially proud of the lyrics to “Bad Behavior.” “Close To You” is my only purely happy song, and it’s up-tempo, so I enjoy the variety that it brings to my material.
How did you hook up with such a renowned producer as Gary Katz? What was working with him like?
I met Gary Katz through my manager, Ken Levy. Ken playedGarysome of my work, andGaryenjoyed it and wanted to work together. I loved working with him. He’s extremely warm and supportive, and has a great ear. We were definitely on the same page musically.
What are your goals, musically and professionally?
I would love to make my living in the music business. It would be amazing to be a successful singer-songwriter, but I would be happy to be a singer alone, and/or a songwriter alone. I would also be thrilled to teach songwriting at some point in my life.
Evie Archer isn’t your real name; where does the name “Evie Archer” come from?
I chose the name “Evie” as a variation on “Eve.” I love the Genesis story of the fall of man, and a lot of the feeling behind my songs has to do with temptation and the desire for redemption. “Evie” seemed somehow appropriate. “Archer” came about because my parents are both Sagittarius, and since I am not using my given name, I wanted to keep a connection to my family. Plus, I thought it sounded cool.
You can find out more about Evie Archer, as well upcoming shows and where to find her music, at eviearcher.com and facebook.com/eviearcher.