Edan Archer
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Edan Archer

Miami, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Miami, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Indie




"Edan Archer's New EP is a Southern-Gothic Fever Dream"

“I look like a flower but smell like an ashtray,” Gainesville-raised Miami transplant Edan Archer sings on her new single, “Cutthroat.” It's the closing track on new her alt-country EP, Cruel Mother. Not only is the lyric an apt summation of Archer's eagerness to challenge modern expectations of femininity in her art, but it could also serve as a metaphor for her willingness to place gorgeous, harmony-laden country ballads alongside smoky dive-bar riffs.

Her video for the title track, “Cruel Mother,” is set against an eerie Southern-Gothic backdrop, and while her angelic silk century-old nightgown hints at the delicateness of the flower she sings about in “Cutthroat,” the blade with which she threatens the camera strikes a more sinister tone.

The song isn't your standard modern songwriting fare, from its unique origin to its taboo plot and themes. “Cruel Mother” is Archer's grunge interpretation of the Scottish folk song “Greenwood Side” (sometimes recognized as “Down by the Greenwood Side"). It is the centuries-old tale of a mother who gives birth to twins and immediately murders them, only to have them come back to haunt her as older children.

“I learned it when I was a kid,” says Archer, whose mom would play old Scottish, English, and Irish folk songs as well as their Appalachian reinterpretations around the house when she was a child.

The songs she grew up with were less Disney and more Brothers Grimm. “There's one where it's two sisters, and one murders the other sister. There's one that's just two birds, and they're talking about which parts of this knight lying in a field they're going to eat. It's gory as shit. I plan on doing a whole album with just versions of these songs.”

These days, she's got plenty of time to make records. After teaching literature (with some interesting text selections, no doubt) at the middle-school level, she finally hit quit-your-day-job status this year. Her gutsy decision to leave teaching stemmed from a feeling that she wasn't nurturing her craft by keeping her mind occupied with work.

“I love [teaching], but it was kind of taking away from what I needed to be doing. You have to create a space for [songs] to come. You have to prepare the ground — like a plant. I have to prepare my lifestyle so that my heart and my mind can relax into being a true creative space and my songs will actually come on their own.”

Once the songs came, she found her mind going back to the grim songs she'd heard as a child. “I didn't delve into it until I left Gainesville — until I came down here. And it wasn't the first time I left. I've lived all over, but I think Miami’s very different culturally. Even though I've lived farther away geographically, culturally it's very different. I identify with Latin culture too — my grandmother's Cuban. My mom grew up in Spain. But because I'm from Gainesville, my real center is that stuff. This is my tradition. These are my roads. This is my cultural heritage.” - Miami New times

"The 20 Best Miami Songs of 2016"

"While Edan Archer's single skews more toward the grungier side of her alt-country EP, she keeps with the country tradition by offering a good old-fashioned murder ballad. On "Cruel Mother," off her album of the same name, Archer trades in the city smog for the crisp country air, rush-hour traffic for a horse, and beat machines for haunting harmonies à la the Civil Wars. The song is a centuries-old dark fairy tale about a mother who murders her newborn children and is haunted by their spirits later in life. When the Cruel Mother offers to dress the ghosts in "scarlet fine," they remind her of her beastly crime: ' Oh, mother, when we were yours/Well, scarlet was our own heart's blood.'"— Celia Almeida - Miami New Times


Cruel Mother 
The Pain Diaries



                DESCRIPTON AND BIO

Edan Archer provides an escape to an alt-country world with pop hooks and Appalachian harmonies, combining classic, Americana songwriting with a rock edge. A voice like moonshine and honey carries listeners through bluesy, down-home rock, tointimate, confessional ballads. Her guitar style mixes intricate finger picking, alternate tunings, and rich effects.

    Her new EP Cruel Mother, co-produced by Archer and Fernando Perdomo (Jakob Dylan, Emitt Rhodes, Andy Pratt), offers 5 lushly arranged songs, with Southern soul and just a bit of grit.  Cruel Mother debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Singer Songwriter sales chart and was chosen as one of the best releases of 2016 by Miami New Times.

    Her introduction to music started in her hometown of Gainesville where a young Archer and her sisters (known as the Howlin’ Cooks) would accompany their parents to church choir, as well as to local picking parties where they sang harmonies to folk classics from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and traditional Appalachian murder ballads like the EP’s title track “Cruel Mother”. The family group soon graduated to playing music festivals throughout northern Florida before she was 10. 

    Archer continued her music education with piano and guitar lessons throughout her teens studying briefly at Berklee College of music and then at the University of Florida. She is a strong advocate for youth music programs. Edan Archer is currently promoting the Cruel MotherEP, playing throughout Florida and the Southeast. 

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