Milk! Records and Remote Control Records are thrilled to announce the new self-titled album byEvelyn Ida Morris, to be released on Friday 20th April. To celebrate the occasion, they have released new single ‘The Body Appears’ alongside a stunning video shot byGeoffrey O’Connor and performed by Deanne Butterworth. Watch via the image below.
The album represents a significant departure from the looping pop of Pikelet, for which Evelyn is best known. It builds on the structural complexity of that project, but focuses wholly on piano – huge, wild, racing, dexterous piano. Indeed, a number of these songs don’t have words, because Evelyn Ida Morrisdidn’t know how to say out loud what they were feeling.
These new works are lush, postclassical compositions that deal with the experience of being non-binary and making sense of that experience. Evelyn uses they/them pronouns and does not identify as female or male.
“All of the songs happened really quickly, during a time when I was attempting to find clarity around my identity,” Evelyn says, “I didn’t know what I was feeling when I started making this album. I had a whole lot of unresolved feelings about being non-binary and about what that meant in the world, and I guess the album was working through that on the piano.”
Evelyn says the album is about “the spaces I perceive between my body and everybody else’s body”. It is about the way living outside the gender binary is not one thing but everything: it shapes all encounters with the world and its structures.
Evelyn wrote the album four years ago, before starting LISTEN, an advocacy group aimed at increasing awareness around gender politics in music. It took time for them to understand the feelings associated with the songs. “They felt like they were exposing a part of me I wasn’t ready to speak to, before spending a lot of time around gender discourse.”
The exception is the song ‘The Body Appears‘, which was written in a single afternoon last April and which Morris recorded themself. “That song feels like I finally found words around my identity. It felt like a new character was being added to the album – a certain and protective one, so that the others didn’t feel so vulnerable anymore.”
Evelyn released their first album as Pikelet in 2007, and has since released four albums and two EPs under that name. They have won the Age Music Victoria Award for Best Experimental Musician and been shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. They have toured extensively as Pikelet, and with other projects, including the hardcore bands Baseball and True Radical Miracle, and with the Ethiopian groupMusic Yared.
Although this album is a departure, for Evelyn it feels very familiar. “The piano stuff is more to do with a practice I’ve had since I was really little, that feels like it’s grown up inside me without the influence – or conscious influence – of other artists. It just feels like it’s always been there.”