Alt folk music: Ladies and gentlemen, critics and hipsters. Have you heard the new disc by the Evelyn sisters? Learn about Evelyn Evelyn, the band discovered by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley.
Who are the Evelyn sisters? Well, it depends on what you want to believe. The story goes that the Neville twins were discovered by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley in 2007. They are a pair of conjoined twins with a history of freak show performances and sexual abuse. They needed Amanda and Jason’s help to record an album.
Their backstory was told on a recent blog by Amanda; however since publishing it she has received a lot of criticism from a percentage of her own fanbase who have claimed that she is encouraging the idea that having a disability makes you a ‘freak’ (the twins were unable to record an album by themselves; they needed ‘help’). Several commenters reacting to Amanda’s blog stated that they were boycotting the entire project – especially once photos of the twins were released and they looked uncannily similar to Amanda and Jason in a dress.
Amanda and Jason have both been upset by the backlash and claim that their intentions have been misinterpreted. Rather than setting out to offend, Amanda said that she just wanted to tell the twins’ story, explaining that: “making art from stories is a way of not letting those stories rule and control our lives”.
The controversial content has now been removed from Amanda’s blog. But it would seem that the idea of disability has become a rising trend in popular culture. Have you seen Lady Gaga’s dance routine on crutches during the video for the song ‘Paparazzi’? Or maybe that episode of Glee where they perform ‘Proud Mary (Rolling On A River)’ in wheelchairs?
But what is the twins’ music like? Beautifully twisted showtunes. Some tracks from the album have already been unleashed onto the Internet. ‘Elephant Elephant’ was one of the first tracks to be released; a charming accordian-driven ditty dedicated to everyone’s favourite oversized mammal. Next came ‘Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?’, a cheerful lament to a missing sibling which references the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
‘A Campaign Of Shock And Awe’ is a glorious example of Amanda and Jason’s love of theatrics. A playful circus waltz with deeply sinister lyrics, the song explores the dark side of the twin’s rise to fame. Meanwhile, ‘Evelyn Evelyn’, the album opener, is a gorgeous song built around Amanda’s signature toy piano. It will strike a chord with anyone who has felt a relationship deteriorate with someone who they were once closer than close to.
Want to know more? Explore Evelyn Evelyn online.