ALBUM PREMIERE: EVAN MYALL
Evan Myall was the guitarist and songwriter in San Francisco (but loved by L.A.) psych band Sleepy Sun, but now he’s moved here with a new sound and a new name to go with it. Formerly Evan Reiss, he’s reconfigured himself around his middle name for his debut solo album, due out this Friday on Royal Oakie. (Home of other L.A. RECORD alums like the Blank Tapes, GospelbeacH and Sugar Candy Mountain—and named after a cool song by an underrated California band.)
Myall’s self-titled record is like the nighttime counterpart to Sleepy Sun’s cosmic power. It’s all shadow, silhouette, suggestion and space lit by starlight instead—an album like the somber post-SMiLE Beach Boys or Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue, especially on “Zephyr”, with links to the Zombies, Nilsson and of course the Beatles at their dreamiest. (Although “Out Of Sight” takes a desert exit from some Chris Isaak/Neil Young Trans neon highway.) Myall rides the edge of up-all-night exhaustion in some of these songs—”Forever Mine,” for instance, or the anxious stylistic departure “Weep”—which gives his understated Colin Blunstone-style vocals extra power and texture. It’s like these songs have to come through, no matter how long it takes or how far away it takes him. This is a singer/songwriter using the whole studio as his instrument, and discovering more to explore in the ‘pop’ part of psychedelic pop. Says Myall: “I wanted to lean into ‘being myself’ on this one. But being true to yourself isn’t as easy as it used to be. As the songs came to fruition, it felt like we were decoding a secret message.”
Myall‘s self-titled album is available here on Friday.