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Standout Track: No. 4, “Drunkest Hour,” a tempest of sorrow, regret, and dusty country-rock guitars, with lyrics that suggest that this time it’ll take more than an couple of Advil and a bottle of Vitaminwater to crawl out of bed in the morning. “This hour leaves no hope for our lives,” sings Evans, as if she’s just realized that she’s one shot of Old Grandad over the line.
Musical Motivation: Evans, 25, admits that “Drunkest Hour” is autobiographical, relating to her experiences in D.C. as she became part of the Gypsy Eyes stable and bounced from Capitol Hill to Columbia Heights and Takoma Park. But she’s disinclined to get into specific tales of her drinking life. “It’s about drinking, the drama that ensues, the power of alcohol,” Evans says. “I didn’t party at all in college, I was kind of a hermit.…Now I’ve found a nice medium in between.”
Wait Gain: Evans headed back to her hometown of Greenville, N.C., last September, but the songs on A Jailhouse…A Kingdom were recorded nearly a year ago, when she was living in the D.C. area. She says that her debut EP was originally slated to come out in February but was delayed to accommodate new records by labelmates the Child Ballads and the Apes. Now, four months later, the CD has arrived, but despite the time lag she hasn’t grown weary of the set’s five tracks. “No! I still really enjoy playing them,” she says. “They aren’t like the songs I wrote in high school, where I’m like ‘Oh my God, I wrote that?’”
Mikal Evans plays Friday, June 6, at the Black Cat.