Evans McRae 'Only Skin'
Evans McRae is the new venture of seasoned songwriters Lowri Evans and Tom McRae. Both successful solo artists, this new collaboration sees them join forces (and voices) on a stunning suite of songs.
Having met on a songwriters’ retreat organised by McRae’s friend and fellow Mercury Prize nominee, Kathryn Williams, the two found they shared a love of crafted but emotionally powerful songs. After many trips between Pembrokeshire and McRae’s West Country home, the pair realised they weren’t writing songs for other artists, they’d actually written an album for themselves.
Lowri and her partner (multi-instrumentalist Lee Mason) decamped to Studio Owz, a beautiful converted chapel deep in the Pembrokeshire countryside, and together with McRae and his long-serving band, recorded the album in the pre-pandemic summer of 2019
A permanent feature on Welsh radio, and favourite of Bob Harris and Janice Long, Lowri has built a large and loyal audience for her brand of beautiful songwriting. Mercury and Brit Award nominee, Tom has proved an enduring talent over his 8 solo albums. His touring success in Europe and use of his songs on film and tv continues to broaden his fan base outside of the UK.
Says McRae: “We sat down and wrote with no agenda. Some songs are heartbroken ballads, some big cinematic soundscapes, and some are good old pop songs. We’ve both been doing this a long time. When you put aside egos and selfish ambition, you realise that the only thing that matters is the quality of the songs. In the end they told us what to do”.
HIGH & LONESOME (the third single released in advance of the album “Only Skin”) is one of those aching ballads that Tom and Lowri specialise in as individuals, but together the narrative of the song is lent more power and purpose by their two voices. The song is a tribute to those rare songs that occasionally crop up on radio when you’re driving late at night, and you find yourself suddenly transported to a time, place or person. The lyrics reference Joni Mitchell’s album Blue… a touchstone record for both Tom and Lowri. “I love this song for its simplicity and honesty” says Tom, “but also for Lee Mason’s bass line. The three of us sat in a small room and it was one of those songs that drifted in from somewhere. The idea was finished in minutes”.