Interview – Eve Simpson

Eve Simpson

South Shields-born and Edinburgh-based singer/songwriter Eve Simpson is back with her highly-anticipated debut EP, ‘All Her Strange’, released 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.

Indie Midlands: Congratulations on the release: how have you found the support so far?

Eve Simpson: Thank you so much! I have been completely blown away by the support for this project. It feels like a wee community has formed around it, massively enhanced by the ‘All Her Strange’ tour which I’ve just come back from. The title track was named BBC Radio Scotland’s track of the week, and I think the EP has really found its hybrid home across the North East and England and Scotland, very true to its origins and formation, which I love.

Indie Midlands: Describe how you structured ‘All Her Strange’, and the narrative thought behind it?

Eve Simpson: ‘All Her Strange’ is very much a stream-of-consciousness song, formed around thoughts of self-doubt, which then rely on places of comfort and love to calm anxieties. That’s how I see the structure formulating: very much a psychological process of what I’m scared of, and how I can navigate that with the people and places I love, ultimately returning to myself in the process. The open tuning allowed it to feel and flow very freely, replicating my own thought process. I often write like this – allowing the melody/accompaniment to replicate how I’m feeling, with lyrics often coming very second-nature.

Indie Midlands: What are the key moments that stick out to you when playing it live? Why?

Eve Simpson: My favorite to play live is definitely ‘Old College’; I really feel that one, and that one seems to resonate the most with people. It is very anecdotal and literal; whereas ‘All Her Strange’ plays on metaphor. It feels like a wonderfully packaged body of work, very suited to the variety of a live set, and can always be played in a 30 min or 1 hour set – I adore it. I also have really enjoyed arranging the tracks for different live set ups for the tour; the nod to Geordie folk ‘Dance To Your Daddy’ when playing ‘Old College’ live is a particular favorite, and goes down well in the North East. His Euphoria was extremely fun to play at the full-band shows, especially with audience participation and seeing folk dancing/twirling each other around. As a resident sad girl writer, it was nice to bring many moments of joy at these live shows.

Indie Midlands: Which single is your favorite? Why?

Eve Simpson: Definitely ‘All Her Strange’. It is a very honest offering from me, and was my step back into writing/playing music after neglecting it for a couple of years due to my own mental health issues. The EP and title track allowed me to give myself some confidence to release music again, despite my imperfections, shortcomings, and all those anxieties I have.

Indie Midlands: How do you hope your music has grown since ‘I can see a face’?

Eve Simpson: I think it continues to become more anecdotal, literal, and honest. I am not as afraid as I used to be to write about what is going on in my own life, and my own head. I have also collaborated more since ‘I Can See a Face’, which continues to develop, push, and grow my own music and artistry. I also massively prioritize and value community in my own music-making. I grew up amongst a musical community in the North East of England, and felt the loss of this during covid, so it is very much driving my emergence on the Scottish scene, to grow, develop, and become a better musician in amongst community.

Nat Greener