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Evalyn's Hypnotic Allure of "Nightmare"

Drenched in tragedy and twisted emotions, Evalyn paints a picture of a dark and haunting love in her newest single, "Nightmare." With its hypnotic allure, the track highlights Evalyn's skill in creating irresistible dance hooks, narrating a story of toxic love that refuses to be abandoned. As the flagship of the digital deluxe re-release marking the 5th anniversary of her Salvation, set to drop on December 15th, Evalyn beckons you to submerge yourself in a spellbinding musical odyssey that traverses realms of time and emotion. In an interview with Intersect, Evalyn discussed the new releases and her approach to storytelling.

What's the origin and creative process behind the creation of "Nightmare"? What served as your inspiration for the song?

I love narrative, and I love drama. So “Nightmare” is a song that's been in the works for a while now. It was a song I wrote alongside basically the rest of an album I put out in 2018 called Salvation. I didn't put this song on it, but I always loved it so much. It's this kind of intense story about being in love with someone toxic and wrong and the bad person for you but wanting to make it work and being very blinded by love. It was cool getting to re-explore it, rewrite it a bit in a totally different place in my life, and put it out. It's really fun for fans of the original album to get something extra from that time. 

What can fans expect from the release of Salvation on December 15?

Oh my gosh, I'm so excited about this. I've always wanted to do this. Everything that I wanted to do the first time but didn't have the time, budget, whatever. So they'll be vinyl. There are two totally reimagined versions of classic songs from the album, one for a song called “Creme De La Creme.” It will be totally vocoder and very emotional and stripped. A reimagined version of my song, “A Pill to Crush,” will be cinematic and a little psychedelic. We also sped up one of my songs called “Big Bad City.” I've always wanted to hear it more uptempo, so we just went for it: this new song “Nightmare,” a music video, new photos, and new videos. There'll also be a mini behind-the-scenes doc by the end of the year. We just put out some merchandise, so everything I could think of. 

As someone with a talent for storytelling, what is the experience like for you when you return to your narratives, expanding and building upon them?

Oh my God, emotional. I'm in such a different place in my life. I'm getting married. I'm five years older. I'm much more in a settled place in my life. That period was really intense for me. It was a very emotional time period and a painful one, but also wonderful. Self-exploration was kind of the theme of my life. So, especially doing things like rerecording "Creme De La Creme," I cried in the booth and was so emotional because I could feel it was like I was talking to myself five years ago, and I singing those words back could feel more of the vulnerability and sadness in them. And I wanted to tell myself at that age that it would be okay. So it was incredible. It was also a tiny bit disconnected because those aren't my feelings anymore. So it was being able to look at it from the outside, looking in and seeing, wow, that was unhealthy. Like with nightmare, you know, that was a genuine feeling for me. And now I could look back and say, whoa, from a more objective place. Those were very intense, toxic feelings. 

I've noticed a similarity in your past tracks, though "Nightmare" stands out with its more complex storyline. Considering the theme of toxic love, what was your approach to writing the lyrics?

When I originally wrote it, it felt very real to some other themes from Salvation. Like A Pill to Crush, which is a track on Salvation is also really about the kind of toxicity of love and what it can do to your mental health. So I think that I had all the bones there for the song. I had already written the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus, so it was about getting back into that mindset to write the second verse and figure out how to fill it out. Growing up, I had a really difficult relationship with my father and I haven't actually talked about this much in press at all, but it's something where I think that I pull a lot from that relationship. I think a lot about his psyche, weirdly, when I'm writing some of these very toxic or painful stories. It's almost maybe a way to therapeutically make sense of some of the behaviors that I saw when I was younger. As an adult, five years after originally writing that, just feeling the feelings of it, I looked at it more like trying to experience the psychology of another person and really get in their head and think about toxic behaviors and why we get so invested in them. It was a really interesting experience to go back and rewrite it from a different perspective.

How do you believe it aligns with your vision for portraying your songs through imagery and in music videos overall?

I've been thinking that my songs are for big feelers, like, I'm a big feeler, I big feelings. I think that the people who gravitate toward my music typically feel big feelings, and we must know that those big feelings are valid and that we should feel all of them. It's part of the human experience. So when I first wrote this song, when I first wrote all of Salvation, it was just pure me feeling my big feelings. And what's cool is it really resonated with people because I heard from them. And so when I wanted to put this back out into the world as a rerelease with the new song, I wanted to express those big feelings and let other people feel seen and heard in those big feelings that they, too, if you're feeling this sense of the world will end if this toxic boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you, it's valid. But I also wanted to express that pain in a way that showed that it's important to take care of ourselves because these endings to like these situations can be so dramatic. So I love to use drama and art and expressive storytelling to capture emotion, validate people, and explore where it's coming from and how we change patterns, behaviors, and habits. 

Having collaborated with Mitch Page on the "Nightmare" music video, could you share insights into the creative process of working together?

She's a genius. I'm obsessed with her. She's the greatest person ever. I could go on and on. She and I work incredibly well together. She is also a spectacular makeup artist, and I love expressing myself through makeup, clothing, and hair. We really see the world in that way about how we can find these details that create such art in every piece. She also made me so incredibly comfortable. I don't always feel great acting, necessarily. She showed me how to almost be on camera as more of a self-expression. Like, I could express more as an artist and not get out of my head. I'm a huge fan of hers. She took the song and created an entire world around it, exactly as I would have hoped. I love that. Now, fans of that era get to see something so fully actualized. 

Considering fans from that era returning to relive it, can we anticipate any upcoming live shows?

Hopefully, There will be announcements of some live events for next year. I also am really excited because I think the revisiting of this record, has allowed me to go back to that place of all making big feeling music and doing things that feel true to not just me, but like the people who are sticking with me. So there's going to be a ton of new stuff next year. This is really just the beginning. 

Collaborations are important to you in all aspects of your work. Are there any dream collaborations you would like to pursue in the future?

Of course, I identify as a songwriter and a collaborator. I love being a solo artist. I absolutely adore it. I spend most of my time in the studio working with others. So there are so many people I'd love to write for and write with. There are so many producers I love. I've been so into. Disco lately. I love Purple Disco Machine. I love a lot of these, like, big dance acts that are doing bombastic, big expressive music. There are also so many badass women and female artists that I absolutely adore. That's going to be a huge focus for me is and I know I need to be more specific, but I want to work with the Bad Babes next year, writing and collaborating and creating stuff. So more to come on collaborations.

While we've delved into what completes your creative fulfillment, I'm curious to learn which aspect of your musical journey thus far has brought you the most satisfaction and fulfillment.

That is such a great question. I think it's twofold. I love performing, it's so fun. I got to do some really fun performances this year. It's a chance for me to get out there and it's an adrenaline rush. I get to meet some of the people that are listening to this stuff in real-time. But, I think what I've really learned that's most fulfilling to me is collaborating and being in the studio with people where there's that kind of feeling of magic. When you walk away, you feel like, oh my God, we just created something incredible. Because that's when things do translate. You know, it's not when you're trying for me, at least, not just make like, okay, this will be good content or like, this will be a good song. Like, but even working with Mitch, working with an artist, I love when you are at the end of that session or shoot day or whatever feels like, oh my God, we did something really incredible today. That has fed me this year, and what I'm looking for is more of That.  It translates to people really receiving it and feeling like it's theirs. 

Do you have any messages or thoughts you'd like to share with your fans?

I love you all. Thank you. Not too long ago, there was a point in my life when I didn't know I would be able to keep making music. This year has proved to me that there are people who are listening, and I am indebted to them because it is my dream to make music every day. And so to my fans, you are everything and incredible. I owe everything to you. Whatever I can do to make you happy, please tell me if there's something more, whether it's musically or visually, that you want because we're all in this together creating it. I'm so grateful for everyone who's listening.

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