The Assemble Sound resident just released a live piano single, “Bite My Tongue,” while planning further releases and a fall US tour with Detroit artist Chloe Moriondo. History, videos and more.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series in partnership with Ypsilanti’s Grove Studios to spotlight artists from eastern Michigan – an endeavor to bridge the gap between east and west. Today, writer Lori Stratton profiles rising Detroit artist Ally Evenson.
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These days, Detroit Ally Evenson don’t hold back.
The indie rock singer-songwriter and guitarist comes to terms with a troubled past relationship and reclaims a lost sense of personal power on his latest single, “Bite my tongue,” which dropped on May 7 as a live piano version.
“I think stripped down, the song is even more heartbreaking. It’s a great uplifting song for people who have ever been in a strange and abusive relationship where power has been abused,” Evenson said.
Filled with dark piano and pensive acoustic guitar, the live version of the track conveys a raw vulnerability as Evenson reflects, “I don’t miss you, I just want it back / All the things I could have had but I did not have / You pushed me under your thumb.
“The line, ‘I don’t miss you, I just want her back,’ is about my youth and me being 19 at the time. I just want to go back and relive that part of my life and the doing like I would have done if I hadn’t gotten involved in it,” Evenson said.
LISTEN: “Bite My Tongue” (live piano version), Ally Evenson
An emerging artist from Detroit, Evenson began her musical journey growing up in Fort Gratiot and taking voice lessons at the age of four. She wrote songs with her father and performed alongside him in Port Huron halls at the age of 15.
In 2016, she enrolled at the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME) to study vocal performance. Evenson contributed tracks to two DIME compilation albums before graduating and releasing the “Not So Pretty” EP in 2020.
Today, she is a new resident at Assemble the sound, a Detroit music company that helps foster the careers of local musicians. The year-long residency program supports a cohort of 10-20 artists focused on full-time songwriting, production and performance.
Along with other artists, Evenson enjoys free access to Assemble Sound’s recording studios and participates in song reviews and industry workshops.
COLLABORATE, WORK ON NEW MATERIAL AND GO ON TOUR
“It will push me to do a lot for myself musically. Now that I’m going on tour with someone else’s music, I also want to keep working on my music. I have to keep focusing, otherwise I’m going to put it aside and not do it,” she said.
Evenson will join the Detroit indie-pop singer-songwriter and YouTuber Chloe Moriondo on tour this fall. She will play guitar with Moriondo and his band on the 22-date Blood Bunny U.S. tour which kicks off September 30 in Cleveland at Mahall’s and ends November 27 in Detroit at the El Club.
“I’m so excited to perform these songs live. I think it’s going to be so much fun, and it helps me improve a lot on the guitar. I think playing lead guitar in a band, going on tour and playing for people is the perfect way to do that,” she said.
Evenson originally published “Bite My Tongue” in February in cinematic studio version steeped in vibrating, distorted electric guitars and dreamy soundscapes. She recently reinvented the track in a streamlined live audio and video session with Minihorse Ben Collins on piano recorded at JK (Not Kidding) studios by engineer-producer John Katona.
“The song was originally written as a ballad, and I wanted to emphasize that it was written that way. I love the piano, and I can’t play the piano well. I like to hear my music played on the piano because it’s not written on the piano at all, so it takes on a whole new twist,” Evenson said.
Evenson also released an intimate live video for “Bite My Tongue” from May 18 to bird fight gifts, a collaborative Metro Detroit video project led by Katona, Tom Mihalis and Christian Ohly. (Scroll down to watch the video.)
Filmed from different camera angles, it features Evenson calmly strumming an acoustic guitar on a vintage wooden piano as Collins accompanies him below.
“Anytime Ben and I practiced in a studio, it was amazing. I just feel every line more when it’s slowed down and a lot of the production is taken out. The words are the main part of the song, and it’s really nice to focus on exactly what I’m saying,” she said.
Both versions of “Bite My Tongue” are Evenson’s first new material since the release of her cathartic five-track debut EP, “Not So Pretty” in 2020. Produced by Elise McCoy, each “Not So Pretty” track invites listeners to quietly absorb and instantly connect to Evenson’s growing vulnerabilities around self-esteem, loss and relationships.
A year later, she revisits her initial healing journey through a new lens of inner growth, wisdom and revitalization. It’s about re-adapting tracks from an evolving creative mindset and changing perspective.
“This person was very sad and going through a lot, but I still listen to and love all the songs. I took some of the songs and turned them into different versions, so they sound like completely different songs,” said Evenson, who is influenced by Lucy Dacus, Mitski, Elliott Smith and Radiohead.
“I really feel like the subject of my music is changing, and it’s less about relationships and more about different aspects of life. As a person, I’ve changed so much since then, and I have the feeling like the person I wanted to be a few years ago.
Evenson plans to release new material, possibly a series of singles or an EP, later this year as a follow-up to “Bite My Tongue.”
“I would like to start working on an album. It’s something that I’m really passionate about and have a lot of cool ideas for. I don’t know if it’s the right time to go on tour. I want to also collaborating with as many people as possible. I think being a resident of Assemble will automatically grant me that wish.
VIDEO: Bird Fight Presents Ally Evenson, “Bite My Tongue” (Acoustic)
VIDEO: Ally Evenson, Stratton’s Setlist Podcast with Lori Stratton
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