Welcome to the world of Connecticut’s Paul Erik Lipp. It’s a world that is controlled by his alter ego – Evening Man – and it’s dark place, soundtracked by songs containing bursts of light and magic. Lipp is our gracious ringmaster in this circus of nocturnal emotions that mold his first full-length album, The Last Night.
The album was just released on January 25, and it explores the depths of intimate narratives, while using synthesizers and orchestral instruments to bring the characters to the forefront, making this perhaps some of the most sophisticated electronic music around.
The short of it, Evening Man is lost 80’s music that seems to have found its way into the future. The synths are heavy, with long tones stretched across a mix of danceable and melodic beats. But it’s not quite that simple.
Lipp gets creative with his rhythms. On songs such as “Surgery (In an Emergency)” and “Never Let Me Go,” he uses uneven beats to match the roller coaster ride that exists within his lyrics. His dark stories describe relationships lived through, lost, and then revisited in the evening hours when our minds are at their most vulnerable – susceptible to exploring ideas that we tend to not focus on during our busy days.
From our introduction on “Telegraph Peak,” we are eased into Lipp’s world with dancing drums driving the song right into the next movement, “Patrick & Joni”–a seemingly gentle natured song with its orchestral intro, but those are soon overlapped by gritty synths. It is at this point where the listener becomes completely immersed in the world of Evening Man.
While “29” and “Skinny Creatures” treat us to more upbeat rhythms, it’s the song “Birdbrain” that I can’t seem to get enough of. It’s simple, staccato rhythms in the introduction segue smoothly into Lipp’s verses. And, then for chorus…brilliance! With crushing synth tones and layered vocals, you become instantly hypnotized by what’s happening, and it’s works so perfectly that you’ll want to relive it again and again.
This feeling returns again on “Your Restless Radio.” (Side note: For some reason, every time I listen to this song, I’m reminded of The Cranberries’ song, “Dream”–not a bad thing!). Michelle Chan Brown joins Lipp on vocals for this song and their duet is stunningly beautiful and tragic as they depart after a night spent together. “Morning breaks/I lie awake/And hope our futures intertwine/And it’s not a lie/Say you will be mine.”
The Last Night was not an album I felt comfortable writing about after my first time listening. I still don’t feel comfortable writing about it. It’s such a personal, heavy album that I think all of us can connect with, to describe the album feels more like writing a journal entry than an album review. But, this is music worth sharing. Lipp has created something special with Evening Man, and with The Last Night being his first full-length, hopefully there will be more where this came from.
Evening Man // Birdbrain [mp3]