Coming off her nation-wide Canadian tour last summer, singer-songwriter Christine Evans has produced a second CD that builds upon the critically acclaimed strengths of her recording debut. Push features a song cycle of the young musician’s well-crafted, whip-smart original songs driven by a dozen, organic and pulsing soundscapes.
Christine co-produced the new CD with veteran studio wizard Tom Hall, who has worked with a Pantheon of pop, rock and jazz stars. Hall says, "“Just when I think I have a grasp of Christine’s talents, she surprises anew. Each time we work together she reveals exciting new facets of her craft.”" He goes on to say, "“Her music is compelling, powerful and timeless.”"
“"I learned so much watching Tom produce my first CD, Take Me Home, and that allowed me to be much more involved in the production of my new album."” Christine explained from her dorm room at Interlochen Academy, an arts school in Michigan with famous alumni including opera star Jessye Norman and jazz-pop diva Norah Jones. “"The title, 'Push' comes from my belief that, in order to effect change, we all need to push the boundaries and ourselves to the limit.”"
As with Christine’'s brilliant debut CD, (the title track was chosen Vancouver Island Music Awards Song of the Year and included on Women & Song Volume 8 along with recordings by Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, and Jewel, who studied theatre, writing and art at Interlochen in the 1990s.), the heartfelt lyrics on Push are vivid, revelatory narratives of surprising maturity and wisdom. The young musician has been studying Jane Eyre at school (while listening to the music of Ani DiFranco, U2, and Switchfoot), and her new songs bristle with searing honesty and strength.
The recording opens with A Nation Redeemed, Christine’'s ethereal vocals soaring over a driving beat that hammers home her most political message. The title track follows with an even more dramatic, octave-spanning reading framed by a richly orchestral rock arrangement. There’s an undertow-like pull behind her stark, emotive songcraft on the achingly sweet Believe.
Give It Up might be the most masterful and compelling composition from a collection of a dozen, beautifully shaped original songs. A liquid guitar intro and Christine’s most vulnerable vocal shift into overdrive, riding a Stones-like rhythm riff through an anthemic chorus that rings like a clarion call between the song’s ruminative verses, "This temporary place, this momentary phase is smaller than we see..." Evans goes on to explain, "“I think that this world is only one piece of a much larger picture, so it’s always important to look beyond ourselves and our own lives.”"
An Artist Ambassador for Kids Help Phone, the 24-hour hotline for children and youth, Evans spent last August touring Canada from Vancouver to Montreal in support of the agency. She also donates $1 from the sale of each CD to Kids Help Phone.
The young musician wrote all of the songs on her debut recording, many before she was a teenager. She’s been writing songs since she was seven, and her songwriting continues to develop by leaps and bounds. On Push her songs reveal a depth of feeling and insight with concise, pop poetics and delicious melodic hooks.
Called “a very gifted singer-songwriter” by one of her mentors, Peter, Paul & Mary folk great Peter Yarrow, Christine continues to work on her singing with famous, New York-based vocal coach Bill Riley. Riley has coached Celine Dion, Faith Hill, and members of the Metropolitan Opera, and Evans has taken his instruction and her studies at Interlochen to heart on Push. Dazzling displays of vocal pyrotechnics punctuate her haunting, powerful readings.
Push is a triumph.