Eve Simpson Discusses Scottish Influence, Growing Pains, and New Track "The Strangest Company"
Edinburgh-based singer/songwriter Eve Simpson has just released her latest observational, coming-of-age ballad, "The Strangest Company." Her innate knack for lyricism pairs with moving vocals to create a wistful recollection of days spent trying to fit into new surroundings. It is poignant and beautiful, familiar yet personal.
While the track utilizes Scottish fiddle, it also pulls inspiration from Simpson's home: South
Shields. As she splits her time between Scotland and the North of England, she explores the push and pull musically, another marker of all-too relatable growing pains. Her undeniable talent has led to spots on BBC Introducing and tours with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Her upcoming EP is set to solidify her mark, alongside an extensive list of future live shows.
We sat down with Eve to discuss "The Strangest Company," her relationship with her two homes, and what next steps she is planning.
FLEX: The coming-of-age narrative in “The Strangest Company” is incredibly relatable. Have you found audiences gravitating towards this track when they hear it?
Eve: Yes, most definitely. The premise of the track, as simple as liking someone who just lives in a completely different world to you, has been something people have chatted to me about at my gigs. Little differences can chip away at us, and in my case in the song, prevent us from telling someone how we feel because it's really scary. But we always walk away from those situations learning something new. At university, this feeling seemed like a rite of passage, and many people have expressed they relate to that - being put in a room with a bunch of other 20-somethings, and just not knowing where to start with navigating that situation. There's an underlying amount of social anxiety and self-doubt running throughout the song. I wrote it when I was 20, and it really emphasizes the vulnerability of continuing to grow throughout your early 20s and understanding how complex and difficult relationships can be.
F: There are strong Scottish and Northern England influences throughout the track. What was your experience like recording the track in two different studios (Black Studios in Newcastle and Haquin Studios in Leith)?
E: It was joyous. I always want to maintain an element of where I'm from when I record because I truly believe it adds to the track. I'm also a big believer in advocating for not only myself, but artists from outside the North East of England to record or outsource some of their mixing/mastering there because the region is so often overlooked when it has a wealth of talent. For this track, in particular, not being able to tell someone I liked them was very much a product of my adolescence in South Shields. Whereas the night that influenced the whole track was in Marchmont in Edinburgh, so it felt right to include the fiddle and record that in Scotland. It's like the two parts of me, geographically, are right there in the recording, which contributed to the whole narrative and existence of the song.
F: You’re based in Scotland right now. What inspiration has the country had on your music making?
E: My surroundings in Edinburgh are entirely musical. The landscape, the accents, the folklore... everything about living here speaks to me in a musical way, and I find it very similar to where I'm from originally. I think that's probably why I've stayed. I was in a folk band between the ages of 16-19, and that was a big mix of Northumbrian and Scottish folk, so that hybrid approach to music is very much instilled in me and the way I write now. In every song I write I can hear a fiddle in the production. I'll be coming up to 5 years in Edinburgh now, and it's beautiful to include the people and places I've come across in music; falling in love here, experiencing loss here, and growing here... it's all captured up here now too.
F: This track has a calming effect, despite being about confusing emotions. How do you balance the two when you’re creating?
E: This song was very much written as a resolution to how I was feeling, which was complete confusion. I don't have much of a writing process, I just sit down and write a song, and then it helps me to understand how I'm feeling about a situation. Subconsciously, I'm making it sound like how I feel, and I'm writing lyrics that articulate that on a literal level: I always write both lyrics/melody/accompaniment together for my own music. This song is very basic until it hits the bridge, just following the same 4 chords, and in a sense, I find that I often like to play with the irony of things - I was completely confused, so I just tried to put it simply, and then it made sense to me in a song.
F: Can we look forward to any upcoming releases or live shows?
E: Yes! I have lots and lots coming up. I have another release out in just a month's time, so keep an eye out for that one, recorded entirely in Leith and at Queen's Hall in Edinburgh. I'm also releasing an EP early next year, funded by Youth Music. I have a secret launch gig coming up this Friday, which I'll showcase on TikTok, and then I have two gigs in November. On the 9th of November, I'm playing at Eve Restaurant, Virgin Media Hotels Edinburgh, and I'm playing a secret Sofar Sounds show in Edinburgh on the 23rd of November. I have some more dates at the end of the year and keep your eyes peeled for tour dates next year.
"The Strangest Company" is available now across streaming platforms.
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