South Shields-born and Edinburgh-based singer/songwriter Eve Simpson is back with her highly-anticipated debut EP, “All Her Strange,” set for release on April 14th. Simpson balances her transformative storytelling and inspiration between the two worlds she inhabits, a technique derived from Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock-esque playfulness, and the honest vulnerability of songwriter’s Laura Marling and Carole King. She describes the EP as, “a coming-of-age exploration of love, growth, misogyny, grief, and heartbreak.” Within this realm, she transports the listener through her time at university in Scotland, navigating the trials and tribulations of a frightening and beautiful period of life.
This self-discovery is touched upon not just lyrically but sonically, the pull of her Geordie roots evident in references and accent, and the sounds of the Celtic region found in the regional fiddle. Recording of the EP was split between Blank Studios in Newcastle and Haquin Music Studios in Leith. Keys and strings in this track specifically were recorded in Leith, and the rest was tracked in Newcastle. The Youth Music NextGen Fund was awarded to Simpson to support the making of this EP, with prestigious partners like TikTok, People’s Postcode Lottery and Turtle Bay.
“His Euphoria,” the first single released from the EP, included a music video created with TikTok in mind. Shot entirely in portrait mode, the video can be viewed more easily on the app and in reels across other social media. A landscape version was uploaded as well, with Simpson performing intricate choreography in the video to accompany the track’s themes of a man abusing his power, an exploration of misogyny even at its most insidious.
Standout track “Old College” was penned as a response to a brutal heartbreak, one that lingered after Simpson had left Edinburgh and returned home from University. Geordie influence is infused with a piece of the classic folk song “Dance to Your Daddy” played on the fiddle by Eryn Rae, Simpson’s favorite aspect of the entire EP. She shares, “I suppose it is demonstrating the stripping away of innocence, and grieving a part of yourself that you regrettably share with someone else. I find the song hard to play live, but when I do I literally go somewhere else.”
Written during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 upon her return to South Shields from university and a new life in Edinburgh, the title track is one of Simpson’s most personal tracks yet. “It is a track about embracing my differences, quirks, and weirdness and surrendering to who I am and my own imperfections,” she shares. “It is about acknowledging wrong-doings, but refusing to change those parts of yourself that are fundamentally who you are.”
Final track “For Absent Friends”, an exploration of grief, was written at the tender age of 19, when Simpson was still working and living full-time in South Shields. “I vividly remember writing it, and I wholeheartedly believed my youth had gone/vanished, but something was always keeping me moving along - music,” she shares. With years in between its conception and recording, Simpson is particularly proud not only to give it an audience but to honor the younger version of herself through its release.
Simpson’s past accolades include touring with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, performing along Beth Nielsen Chapman, Kathryn Tickell, and The Lake Poets, and scoring the North East segment of a FOCAL International award-winning film. Simpson has been featured on BBC Introducing, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio Scotland (Iain Anderson), Cambridge Radio, and the SoundCloud editorial Hot UK Pop. Past praise has come from Lock Magazine, SNACK Mag, NARC, Listen to Discover, Rough Online, Mystic Sons, among many other press tastemakers.
Recently, she has performed her latest tracks (which have amassed 25K streams) at venues such as Edinburgh Hogmanay, Celtic Connections, Sofar Sounds (Glasgow, Edinburgh), Sneaky Pete’s Edinburgh Fringe Showcase, and Virgin Media Hotels. Simpson’s highly-anticipated EP tour is set for spring, as a grantee from Help Musicians.
EP Credits: Recorded at Blank Studios, Newcastle and Haquin Music Studios, Leith. Sound Engineered and Produced by Luke Elgie. Strings engineered by Haquin. Songwriter, lead vocals, backing vocals, and guitar: Eve Simpson. Piano: Nick Haquin. Guitar: Luke Elgie. Fiddle: Eryn Rae. Drums: Will Hammond. Production and Mixing: Luke Elgie. Mastering: Orvar Thorvaldsson.