Eva & the Oak – Floriography

EP Rating: 8.3 – Between theatrical and dreamy soundscapes.

Photo: Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Photo: Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Eva & the Oak is a folk/dream pop band based out of Boston. Comprised of Madeline Parascandola (voice/guitar), Jake Rosenberg (keys), Connor Barry (bass), Dan Gerry (drums,) and Steven Xia (production/engineering/sound design), the quintet builds stratified layers of raw instruments and synth layers that yield an intricately, contemplative space. Their five-track EP, Floriography, will be released on March 15.  

Eva & the Oak toys with the raw, emotional side of poetry and the processed, grandiosity of dreamy folk in their new record Floriography. The opener, “Closer Caress,” is a deep instrumental diver that takes you into a dramatic ambiance. The crooning vocals pleading a lover to “Hold me closer” bring a hybrid of baroque and bluesy effect to the track – it almost feels like serenade. But at the same time, it feels like something you would listen in a dim piano bar or at a café. The heavy instrumentation and the whispery voice lend the song a howling essence.

Abandoning the baroque-bluesy air, the following track “The River” adopts a more folky poise with a twitch of pop. The oohing choruses smoothly implement that same howling essence, but “The River” does not have that textural or ambiance heftiness as the first track. There is more structure – the strumming strings and violin glides are accentuated above all else, leading you to a flowing stream of consciousness. The same rococo melody is found in “Peony Heart,” which translates passionate emotions into floral metaphors. Eva & the Oak do not settle with clichés, but incorporates floral metaphors that the listener wouldn’t have expected. “I love you with every petal of my peeling heart.” The lyrics are peculiarly aesthetic and make it stand out from other love songs.

“So fight for me, for the life in me / For the youth in me” chants the frontgal Madeline in “Silver Moon.” It is a feel-good track, but the most unimpressive one from the EP. The composition follows the hackneyed folk formula of strumming strings and piano taps that lack the rhythmic twists that other songs have. The rhythm feels like it’s coming out from the background of a half-raised curtain stage. The exiting track, “Remember The Iris,” takes you back to the cusp between theatrical and dreamy soundscape, where the piano chords and percussions breeze through you seamlessly. Floriography is a gorgeous EP that gives space for metaphors to bloom and often feels fantastical for its dreamy trance. Each track sprouts with its own flair, presenting you with unexpected twists that leave you positively elevated.

Follow Eva & the Oak on Facebook and Instagram. Get the EP on Bandcamp.