In the midst of all the excitement surrounding Imperfect Fifth’s third-year anniversary event, Evelyn Cools cooled things down with her cozy and beautiful live performance on September 8th. Live streaming is different from recorded music, but it’s also not quite the same as true live performance either. In many ways, it feels like a kind of hybrid between the two, with the excitement from the live aspect, but still feeling intimate in the same way that listening to a record can feel. Evelyn’s performance emphasized the latter well, performing songs from her EP Misfit Paradise with only a guitar and her spectacular voice. The shining star of this performance, Cools’ vocals, were so incredibly striking live, inducing chills at least once on every track she sang. Not only that, the melody lines themselves were so well suited for live performance; their sweetness and beauty radiant amongst the bare musical background. They adapted to the tone of each song Cools performed, sometimes dulcet, other times haunting, but always gorgeous.
Aside from the enchanting sonic aspect of this performance, the visual was also fun to watch. Cools was open and humble, and it felt like she was simply just trying to share her wonderful music with us all. She often made eye contact with the camera, giving it that personal feel that is so elusive when at a live concert; wishing, hoping, and praying that the headliner will notice your face in the sea of the crowd.
It’s safe to say that Evelyn delivered an exquisite performance that engaged her entire audience– if you need proof, know that even her dog was compelled to sing along (and made a brief and adorable appearance on camera)! If you’re disappointed that you missed it, don’t fret! You can find the performance on Imperfect Fifth’s facebook page.
A true nomad, EvelynCools has found herself exploring the world all throughout her life. As a child in Belgium she studied piano, flute, choir, and musical theater. Eventually, she made her way over to Hong Kong and Budapest. At her university in London, Cools found herself captivated by the music scene and made some musical friends, and together these things provided the foundation for her career. Finally, in 2018 she moved to Los Angeles. Inspired by the nature of California, the new people she met that would eventually become her creative team, and the unparalleled love she found, Cools decided to bring to life her upcoming EP Misfit Paradise. Her penchant for wandering and connection to other people and nature are the driving forces behind this record.
Regarding Misfit Paradise, Cools says that it “explores the complex relationships we have with ourselves, others, and our environment, and how we find peace and meaning within it all. It is about life’s greatest joys – love, acceptance, nature, adventure – but also its greatest sorrows. It aims to capture little specs of magic against a world of unknowns.”
Her new single off the EP, “Gold Woman”, reflects some of the qualities that you can expect to hear in Misfit Paradise. Cools‘ personal songwriting is enchanting, with her ethereal voice and strong emotional resonance. Her sound lies somewhere within folk, indie-folk, alt-country, and folk-pop music. That being said, don’t think that the single is simply a girl fingerpicking a guitar and singing simple melodies. This music grabs you and commands you to listen to it. You can definitely hear undercurrents of country, but overall this track sounds a lot like alt-rock. It places a strong emphasis on the guitar which has a heavier quality to it. On top of this, amidst countless songs today which are making heavy use of harmonies (although fabulous in their own way), Cools isn’t afraid to let her voice stand on its own. She shows impressive control over her robust chest voice and delightfully airy head voice, both of which are showcased in the adventurous vocal lines throughout the song. Her accessible lyrics and storytelling abilities reveal her folk roots, however, reinforcing who she is at her core.