Lake District-born vocalist Evie Hill is set to release her first album, ‘People In Their Simplicity,’ with pianist, producer, and fellow songwriter Ben Lawrence on Friday, September 8th. Their first single, ‘Spirit,’ was released in late July, and the music video, filmed in the Lake District, premieres today.
A Connection to Nature
The music video for ‘Spirit’ showcases the breathtaking landscapes of the Lake District, including underwater scenes filmed in Lake Windermere and mountain ledge sequences on Loughrigg Fell. Hill shares that these locations hold special significance for her, as they surround the area of Ambleside village where she grew up.
Overcoming Fear Through Music
‘Spirit’ explores the theme of fear and the process of overcoming it. For Hill, the song relates to her personal journey of realizing her creative desires and dreams despite self-doubt and societal pressures. The song encourages listeners to follow their guiding signs and let their deepest desires lead their creative practice and life.
The Origins of Esk
The duo’s name, Esk, holds a double meaning for Hill and Lawrence. Eskdale, an area in the west Lakes, represents a sense of peace for the artists, while the name also pays homage to influential musicians such as Moonchild, J Dilla, Bon Iver, and D’Angelo. Esk’s music is inspired by a mix of genres, including Black American Music, alternative folk, and modern jazz.
Hill and Lawrence first met while playing in the Durham University Big Band. However, it wasn’t until the pandemic that they began songwriting together. This period allowed them to explore their creative abilities and ultimately led to the creation of their album.
Influences and Inspiration
Esk’s music features a wide palette of sounds, influenced by artists like Robert Glasper, Yebba, and Moonchild. To create their unique soundscape, Hill and Lawrence use field recordings of birds and insects, experimental electronic sounds, and various instruments.
Jazz: A Lifelong Love
Hill’s love for jazz began with her introduction to Amy Winehouse’s music at the age of 12. Over time, her passion for jazz grew as she discovered artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Jazzmeia Horn. Hill will soon attend Guildhall to pursue a Masters in Jazz.
The Joy of Live Performance
While Lawrence leans more towards writing and producing, Hill enjoys live performances. The duo appreciates both aspects of creating music and believes they feed into each other.
Album Launch Gig
Esk will be playing at Jazz@PizzaExpress Holborn on Sunday, September 10th, marking the first time their album will be performed live for an audience. Click here to buy tickets!