Eva & The Oak: Floriography EP Review

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Eva & The Oak

The band “Eva & The Oak”, now from Boston, started out in Raleigh, Noa Carolina, with lead vocals, guitar and songwriter Madeline Parascandola, drum player and percussionist Nick Parascandola, bass player Connor Barry, pianist Jake Rosenberg, violist Dan Lay and Steven Xia who does sound design and additional guitar.

I asked what the inspiration for the EP was and got this response from Madeline Parascandola:

The initial inspiration for the EP was a dysfunctional relationship in my teenhood, though as the ep progresses more comes to surface. Lust begins to bloom amidst youth and innocence, and an urge for vengeance- rather, an urge to haunt- begins to develop. We see this especially in “Peony Heart.” Peonies, in floriography, symbolize both shame and purity. The EP resolves with “Remember the Iris” as personal power is regained.Madeline Parascandola

Madeline Parascandola

Eva & The Oak are a dream pop/indie band, and their music gets unique rings from many different sounds, including the viola, drums, and the piano. The voice they add as well makes them stand out.  Dream Pop came from the Eighties, in between alternative rock and non-psychedelia music, and it is defined as “texture as much as melody”. That is very likely the reasoning behind the title of the EP “Floriography”, which means “the language of flowers”, relying a lot on how a flower feels or smells.

The music definitely has a unique taste to it and is also a good listen. The combination of instruments and  vocals give off a dreamlike quality. I enjoy the music for it is both different and relaxing. The different instruments give it a calmer tone, enhanced by deep and soothing vocals from lead singer Madeline.

When I asked the band members what they liked most about being part of a band:

 

Connor Barry (electric and upright bass): I first heard Maddy play about two years ago and since then I’ve been captivated by her singing and her songwriting. To be able to be a part of that process is my favorite part of playing in the band. Every night the songs evolve and change but the inspiration at it’s core is continually fascinating for me.

Jake Rosenberg (keys): What’s key for me is that we are all trying to bring the same elements out of the music, we aren’t trying to communicate the songs in different ways- obviously we have different roles and such- but searching for similar means of communicating ideas through the music as we grow together is something I enjoy in the sound and what excites me, like how tight we can get.

Dan Getty (drums and percussion): My favorite part of playing together is making little changes and decisions on the fly. Every time I play the song, it’s ever so slightly different.

Madeline Parascandola (voice, guitar, songwriting): These are all songs I wrote in solitude- you know, usually under a tree somewhere in North Carolina- from as early as 16 years old, so to watch the songs evolve with everything each band member has to offer is always beautiful. It’s just something I never would have imagined back then.

Steven Xia (production, sound design): When Maddy and I first started working on these songs it was about 2 years ago. To hear them go from just a melody and some strummed chords to what we wrote together and the production I’ve done, is something her and I have been waiting to hear in the physical world for a long time. And to hear that in different tonal spaces and venues with improvisation? It’s like free remixes all the time!Connor Barry, Dan Getty, Madeline Parascandola and Steven Xia

My favorite song out of their EP was the first song I listened to called “Remember The Iris”. It has the deep vocals and great instrumentals characteristic of their other songs, but the lyrics are really what got to me. “Called upon The Fae to send you sleep/Picked from lavender fields in the in-between/Shaking in your bed they set it to steep in your/Boiling mind” is the first verse of the song and very soothing, I loved both “The Fae” and “Lavender Fields” because both are peaceful in lore.

Song link: https://soundcloud.com/eva-and-the-oak/remember-the-iris?in=eva-and-the-oak/sets/floriography

My final question to the band was how the band was formed, and Madeline and Steven replied:

“In my early teens I was in awe of the underground freak folk scene in Raleigh. I was always watching my brother play around in different bands. Eventually we began playing together-garage shows and such. We both ended up moving to Boston and right off the bat I met Steve, Connor and Jake.”
Steven answered: “I remember very well the first time Maddy and I met. Connor was there too actually. Connor and I were playing in a different band at a house show in Revere, MA I believe. Maddy was opening up for us with a solo set and one word comes to mind: Angelic. She even had a white dress on to boot! So some months pass and the band Connor and I are in says we are getting another singer in the group, and it’s Maddy! And I was like “Finally now I have an excuse to actually talk to this amazing musician!” So a year and some change goes by and during a tour, Maddy and I got real close and she was sharing a lot of her personal music with me. I had quit the band that we had been in together before Eva & the Oak at this point, but me and Maddy always wanted to keep doing music together. So we started Eva & the Oak.”Madeline Parascandola and Steven Xia

The whole EP is a totally relaxing and surreal experience and represents the genre very nicely. I totally recommend listening to Eva & The Oak and give the band 5 stars.


A live song called “Benny Bear:”

Websites:
https://evaandtheoak.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/evaandtheoak/?fref=ts
https://www.instagram.com/eva_and_theoak/
http://www.littleoakband.com

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