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In Conversation With... The New Eves

Words by Angelika May

Photography by Anya Rose

As dusk fell upon The George Tavern, the heavens parted in anticipation of a primordial recital led by four seraphic beings to celebrate their single release “Original Sin”. The New Eves, a Brighton-born avant-folk quartet, comprised of Kate Mager (bass), Ella Russell (Drums, flute, vocals), Nina Winder-Lind (cello, guitar, vocals) and Violet Farrer (violin, guitar, vocals) brought a divine feminine energy on Tuesday, so powerful it caused a powercut mid-set.

There was an undeniable feminine presence in the room (The George Tavern had never smelt so good), we fell silent as we waited with bated breath to hear these ethereal beings gift their voices to us.

Opening with their ferocious track “The New Eve” a piece of spoken word that expresses carnal, political, philosophical and physiographical sentiments. Juxtaposing their bucolic appearances, many tracks were backed with military cadences led by Ella’s beating (drums, flute, vocals) and Kate’s (bass) deep riffs, instilling a feeling of rally and movement.

During the track “Mother”, we are reminded why this esoteric band thrive in their experimental means, as they create a raw quality utilising their instruments in an atypical manner. Violet (guitar) banged the instrument with her fist or glided her fingers down the neck. Their purist methods, however, I never tired of.

Watching Nina (cello, guitar, vocals) curate a melancholic groan, is what stood out as one of the poignant factors for creating the perfect rustic folk sound. Closing with “Original Sin” delivered with a high-energy transcendence between eclectic folk to 60s garage, with nods to Patti Smith and The Velvet Underground, left us on a high. More mesmerising than their sheer virtuosity, the multi-instrumentalists evident through my parentheses, was the inclination that each member was as hypnotised by their own sound as much as we were. Closing their eyes periodically between songs, a deep connection was formed, there was no sense of “us” and “them”, it was “we”.

What do you believe are the burning passions at the core of womanhood, how does this transcend into your music?

Ella - That you should be able to be whatever you want, without any judgement.

Kate - “Womanhood” itself, is so diverse. I don’t always think there are burning passions that can be universal, because, what does it even mean to be a woman?

Violet- The burning passions of humankind are the burning passions of womanhood; the earth, the animals and the plants.

Nina - In terms of our music, we’ve all had very good and very bad experiences as women and girls. I believe that we meet somewhere in the middle, to channel together something almost ritualistic, which is a very cathartic process.

Ella - Whilst jamming, we tend to find our themes. Also as visual artists, we associate our music quite heavily with imagery.

Kate - The way we work, often shows how our own experiences can be collective. Without even discussing the themes we want present in our music, we each go off to write and more often than not come back with similar ideas and themes.

As multi-faceted artists, what about the process of DIY do you find appealing?

V - Having creative control.

E - To be able to explore all of these themes in different mediums.

Now, we have a couple of painters and Violet, you're the dancer. Do we have any other hidden talents?

K - We’re all writers…and musicians.

V - I’ve run some women’s circles at Brighton Fringe.

N - Kate is a wicked knitter!

E - And she can eat a can of baked beans in…how many seconds?

K - 34 seconds.

Hot or cold?

K - Cold.

E - Kate also does puppetry.

K - I’ve dabbled.

What inspired the song “Mother”?

K - It started in a jam session. Ella started to sing; “my mother lives inside my house”.

E - I wasn’t singing it with the intention of using it at first, it wasn’t serious, but it ended up sparking something.

K - At the time, I was reading something about the connection between mothers and babies from the womb. There is an exchange of cells that goes both ways, so the baby actually gives back to the mother. When Ella started singing “My mother lives inside my house” I resonated with it so deeply, I had to write about it. I was also really inspired by a book called “Underland” by Robert Macfarlane. We all then contributed to the lyrics.

E - We do a lot of collective writing, which is really nice as everyone gets to shine in their own way.

Your song “Original Sin” contains a lot of “teenage angst”. What was the song you had on repeat in your own years of teenage angst?

V - I’m a massive Kurt Cobain fan, I would scream “Love Buzz” in my bedroom in front of my Kurt Cobain poster, probably with a candle burning.

E - The Clash, “London Calling” or “Inflammable Material” by “Stiff Little Fingers”.

N - A lot of Led Zeppelin, mostly the fourth album.

K - The White Stripes. I was VERY obsessed with them throughout my teenage years. Once, I snuck my iPod into sports day and sat away from everyone with my headphones in just listening to The White Stripes.

What does Eve symbolise to you?

N - We’re finding out. We are “The New Eves” we’re redefining a lot, which feels really powerful.

K - It’s a continual process of finding new avenues.

N - Almost like a research project.


Listen to The New Eves debut double-A release 'Mother/ Original Sin' here.

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