Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Erik Jensen
After years of enamouring ears with numerous acclaimed releases, Evelyn Ida Morris is set to retire their long-running project Pikelet. Pikelet’s final release – Goodbye – and it’s lead single ‘Plovers’ acts as a bookend between one period of life and the start of another, a suitable send-off for a creative entity that meant as much to fans as it did for Evelyn’s own journey of self-discovery.
When it comes to the more experimental side of folk-pop, few outfits have crafted as impressive a catalogue as Pikelet. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and creative prodigy Evelyn Ida Morris, each Pikelet record has offered a stunning array of sounds and ideas – an ever-evolving documentation of virtuosic creativity. In more recent years, Evelyn has been undergoing a more personal evolution, developing a keener sense of self while also expanding their interests beyond music. Since co-founding the vital resource LISTEN, Evelyn has injected more outward-facing commentary into their music, allowing politics and thoughts on their own gender queer-identity (and subsequent place in society) to further colour their songs about love and endurance. This shift has culminated in a conscious choice to lay the Pikelet moniker to rest in favour of creating under their own name, thus Evelyn Ida Morris is farewelling Pikelet with a forthcoming cassette titled Goodbye.
Like most of their releases, Goodbye has Evelyn’s fingerprints all over it. Music is inherently personal, but one can’t shake the feeling that Goodbye in particular has a keener sense of sentimentality. The record was recorded in various houses Evelyn has lived, all songs were written, recorded and mixed by Evelyn, and Evelyn even created the artwork. Of course, none of this is surprising considering Evelyn’s ample talent and creative vision, but it helps to position this release as a particularly earnest and heartfelt farewell – one befitting a project beloved by many. The first single from the cassette, ‘Plovers’, begins subtly with a soft percussive patter, subdued horns and an almost-bluesy country guitar twang, before the acoustic strum builds momentum. Nostalgia and memory saturate the track as Evelyn recalls roaming the neighbourhood of their youth, avoiding packs of quarrelsome plovers on the advice of their grandmother. The curious spirit of Evelyn’s childhood is still prevalent, and plucked memories of imagined magical powers and the light filtering through their home adds a lush texture to the piece. I sense a bridging of phases, an existence no longer fragmented into before and after but now a unified whole, allowing Evelyn to happily exist and create without the need for different guises. Although Evelyn is closing a fundamental chapter in their life, ahead lies future that is excitingly and unquestionably theirs.
Goodbye will be officially released digitally and on cassette on Monday March 18 through US-based label Babyrace Records.