The music is an eclectic folk mix, and the lyrics are both easy to listen for the music lover and feed the soul for those philosophers searching for a deeper meaning. The artist is none other than Canadian singer/song writer Trevor Deley, whom I featured in 2012 for his first EP, Robert. On October 31st of 2013, he came out with his second stunning EP, entitled Evelyn, which had been a work of progress since December 2012. It comes as no surprise that everything from the release date, to the story told by the tracks and even the album artwork has a special significance. I of course, expected no less from the great intellectual that Deley has proven himself to be.
The Back Story:
The back story to Evelyn is fascinating as it is chilling. Evelyn was a woman who married a war vet (circa WWII), and has a child with him but realizes that the man who returns from the war has
changed dramatically from the man whom she married. Their lives are irrevocably altered when her child falls to his death down the stairs in their house. Left only with a husband broken from the war, Evelyn makes the difficult decision to leave the house steeped in so many memories along with her husband. Although this album is based on these incidences, the songs tell the tale of the War Vet as he continues to live in their house to his dying day.
Surprisingly, this story holds a personal connection to Trevor. Unknown to him, when he first moved in to the place he now lives in was rumored to be haunted. His former roommate even attests to feeling the spirit of the young child at the bottom of their stairs. Creaking noises are common occurrences in the middle of the night, as are footsteps and Deley admits to hearing the sounds of dishes clanking at odd times, his TV turning on by itself and experiencing a freezing sensation at specific intervals during the day underneath the attic. From these occurrences, he created the fictional story of the War Vet and the tragic stair incidence. The strangest incident by far, was when after Trevor attempted to record his first song in the EP; the computer crashed numerous times, in bizarre ways and he lost his music. Deley pointed out that when he recorded the song the second time, the song for his album finally felt "right". It was as if the ghost in his house was disapproving of the first attempt and wanted to lend him a helping hand. In fact, after that incident, Trevor's songs took on quite a different tone from anything he had ever recorded before. As I discovered in my first interview with him about Robert, Trevor is a skeptic of all things supernatural and remains so to this day, but he commented, "some things in life are simply difficult to explain." Personally, I think it was a lovely tribute to the perhaps restless spirits that Deley quite fittingly released Evelyn on Halloween.
Taking a closer look at the songs, the motif of the "haunted" house appears in every track. For instance, in Stables I, the ghostly sounds of floors creaking, doors slamming, dishes being washed, clanking teapots and even a match being lit in the background can be heard if you listen closely. The main instruments used in the EP include banjo, guitar and glockenspiel as well as an auto-tuned harmony voice in the background. The whole album is accompanied by artwork that tells a story in itself, courtesy of the talented visual artist Taylor Doyle. The chair which graces the cover sets a mood of stagnation, indicating that the war vet has sought comfort in his choice of staying in the house and the window is indicative of the outside world, full of possibilities that his wife enters when she leaves him. Meanwhile, the wine stain sets the stage for a feeling of permanency. Deley however, makes it quite clear that the pictures are left to be interpreted differently by each individual so that they are able to craft their own story based on personal experiences.
All in all, Trevor Deley's album is a pleasure to listen to and contains a wonderful message to absorb. It aims to express that sometimes, people go through unspeakable horrors and bad luck and that cannot be resolved as easily in real life as its done in the movies. I encourage you to download the EP here as Trevor has been kind enough to provide it, absolutely free. To take a look at his upcoming projects, be sure to like his Facebook page. I will leave you with Trevor's parting message: "I hope people can connect to the music and are open to allowing these stories to become a part of their stories." Personally, I think that the album was also a lovely catharsis for the ghosts who have hopefully quit haunting Deley's studio, now that their story has finally been told.