Making his name as the front man of Parson Red Heads, Portland, Oregon’s Evan Thomas Way is known for his distinctly warm and comforting vocal style. The band’s optimistic brand of music was its perfect vehicle, though for the past ten years, Evan Thomas Way has also been working something altogether darker and more probing, mining into the recesses of himself no matter how difficult the process, or how vulnerable it makes him.
After a decade, the work is finally coming to fruition with Longer Days, a full-length record from Evan Thomas Way and his band, The Phasers. With Raymond Richards (electric guitar and pedal steel, and the album’s co-producer), Adam Beam (drums) and Alex Chapman (bass), plus Michael Blake (keys), Eric Earley (organ) and Ben Latimer (saxophone) providing extra instrumentation, the album maintains the lush layering of Parson Red Heads yet possesses a gloomier countershading. The record “walk[s] the line between dogged hope and the weariness of daily life,” explains the press release. “They are the stories of those who are torn between giving up and pressing on.”
By way of introduction, the title track is a great place to start. Centred on a move back to Oregon from Los Angeles, the song is one of existential introspection, and the difficulty of finding and/or maintaining a sense of identity when having to move on from the places and structures that played such a big part in its formation.
Long Distance will be released on the 3rd May via Lung Records and you can pre-order in from the Evan Thomas Way & The Phasers Bandcamp page.