Evan Voytas
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Evan Voytas

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
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"Evan Voytas is an LA-based singer/multi-instrumentalist. Born in rural Pennsylvania, Evan was raised on the oldies, listening to his father's cassette tapes of Elvis and the Righteous Brothers. As a teenager, he discovered jazz. At age 18, he moved to Harlem where he immersed himself in various religious texts and 70's new age paperbacks. He grew a beard, moved to the desert, moved back, shaved the beard, played lead guitar for a few pop acts, toured the world, moved to a farmhouse on a dirt road in Pennsylvania, started recording music, and finally ended up in Los Angeles.

Since then, Voytas has released a series of self-produced EPs and singles. His latest single, "I Run With You, Spirit Animal," is a 3-minute race through a magical realm. Set to a score of soaring synths, fun guitars, and fake-ass drums, Evan's lyrics typically address "feeling good" or "feeling bad," with underlying mystical themes of the unknown, nature, and outer space." [Evan's official bio]

That's Evan's story straight from his own website, and now that I know the composer and songwriter once lived in NYC (and was born in PA), I hope that means there's a chance he might move back (no offense LA).

I first heard Evan's music not long before CMJ, when I was booking the BrooklynVegan shows. And it didn't take many listens to know I wanted him to play, especially since it might be the only chance I would get to see him... which is exactly what happened.

Evan went on right at 12:15pm at Public Assembly on Saturday, and his undeniably catchy and addictive, falsetto & synth-filled, smooth disco pop jams were the perfect way to start the day (some would classify him as chillwave). His live show was as satisfying experience as listening to him on record - full band included (he has performed solo in the past). If you missed them during CMJ, I'm sure they'll be back soon (but at the moment they have no upcoming dates scheduled).

In the meantime, listen to what Evan has streaming at MySpace, and on his Muxtape. And check out the videos below, and grab the MP3s above, one of which is the brand new "Our Thing". That track appears on Evan's new Tomorrow Night We'll Go Anywhere EP (out now digitally, out physically on November 22). Check it out. To quote The Line of Best Fit, "On first listen, I was transported to a private party where a (slightly) less camp Scissor Sisters were grinding seductively to Purple Rain-era Prince, all whilst Ariel Pink was dropping ketamine in the toilets."

Fun fact: Evan sometimes plays in the backing band of both Flying Lotus and Gonjasufi." - Brooklyn Vegan


"In this highly disposable digital age we’ve found ourselves living in, starting a record label is about as easy as ordering a pizza. Not only that – it’s a damn sight cheaper than ordering a pizza. With digital merchants ruling large, you don’t even have to press up physical product anymore. It doesn’t have cost anything if you don’t want it to."

Cascine are a label who seemingly appeared out of nowhere around 3 or 4 weeks ago from the very same birthing pool as Sweden’s prime pop professors Service. There was no giant fanfare, no bloated articles in Music Week explaining how they’re going to “save the industry”, no buzz or hype. Just a simple mantra: “a new label for experimental pop, guided by intuition”. As alluring as it was mysterious, a total of three acts were revealed in a pristine white haze upon launch – all completely different yet simultaneously all beating with the same life blood amongst them; Shine 2009, Selebrities and Chad Valley. Hailing from Finland, New York and Oxford respectively, these acts have quietly pushed themselves upon my psyche over the past few weeks; disturbing my sleep patterns, pounding my sub-conscious with their unstoppable melodies and desire.

And it’s with this unstoppable nature that they reveal their fourth signing in roughly the same amount of weeks they’ve been officially operating as a company. Hailing from LA, Evan Voytas comes fully formed with debut EP Tomorrow Night We’ll Go Anywhere which is set for release in 12? and digital formats on October 18. On first listen, I was transported to a private party where a (slightly) less camp Scissor Sisters were grinding seductively to Purple Rain-era Prince, all whilst Ariel Pink was dropping ketamine in the toilets. Just listen to the title-track and today’s SOTD to get a grasp as to where I’m coming from. ‘Tomorrow Night We’ll Go Anywhere’ plays the nostalgia card in the same way Wild Nothing did to such great effect earlier in the year – with complete earnestness and a lust for pushing new sounds rather than recreating them – much like Cascine’s entire working ethic. This is an artist and indeed label to get very, very excited about. - The Line Of Best Fit


"There are new labels popping up everywhere at the moment but none are doing such a sterling job as Service spinoff Cascine. Billed as "a new label for experimental pop guided by intuition", it has already signed up the likes of Chad Valley (not the makers of dodgy toys sold in Woolworths) and Flying Lotus player Evan Voytas."

Voytas will be one of the label's first releases, with the soft, modern lounge pop of "Tomorrow Night We'll Go Anywhere". Enchanting falsetto vocals and barely there disco beat flutter into being, carried by some simply stunning songwriting. We'll probably have it on repeat until tomorrow night. - Neu Magazine


"Evan Voytas is living in a dreamworld, his soft voice emanating like sunlight through cirrous clouds, his guitar gleaming light and sweet through the slightly off stuttering of his beats. His solo jams are the chilled out compatriots to his day job, playing in Flying Lotus‘ live band, the result of a quasi-Into the Wild freakout that inspired him to move from Harlem (where he was “immersed in various religious texts and 70’s new age paperbacks”) to the deepest corners of desert. He also grew a beard. That shit probably alters your outlook, which comes through in 'I Took a Trip on a Plane'—hopes and aspirations manifested in a bright, gentle lullaby, delicate but alive."

- The Fader


"With 'I Run With You, Spirit Animal' and 'Sad, Like Hearts Can Be', Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist Evan Voytas has shown a certain savvy with insular space disco, and intimate synth-pop, and inserting commas into track titles. This latest single is breaking the mold: piano in waltz time, totally comma free. Still lovely sighs in the vocals, though." - Stereogum


"Los Angeles-via-Pennsylvania multi-instrumental singer and home recordist Evan Voytas — sort of a more clean-cut Ariel Pink — creates strange synth-pop/space-disco outings that feel danceable but private and insular. The idea’s explored in the video for his most recent single 'I Run With You, Spirit Animal'. The clip was directed by Carlos Charlie Perez, who recently finished the upcoming Vampire Weekend video and shot those tongue-in-cheek promos that showed up on ithinkuracontra.com. You’ll find that playfulness, here as well, after Voytas locates a place to rest his plank of wood while he tries on sunglasses and animal masks." - Stereogum


"Tomorrow Night We’ll Go Anywhere is the first “physical” release from L.A. multi-instrumental jazz fan Evan Voytas. We last heard from him via a MillionYoung remix, but you get a more specific sense of his insular, outward-looking sound on past singles like 'I Took A Trip On A Plane' and 'I Run With You, Spirit Animal'. It also helps to know he sometimes plays in the backing bands for Flying Lotus and Gonjasufi. On the breathy title track from that new EP he’s definitely caught a Saturday night fever." - Stereogum


"The sonically inventive Evan Voytas tentatively dips his toe into the unforgiving metropolis of synth-pop on his latest EP which has been previewed on the vowel-phobic/music-philic RCRD LBL for your aural pleasure. It’s pretty difficult to stop being swept out to the saccharine sea by the quirky technicolour tide of ‘Getting Higher’. Forget glossy production, the retro summer has got its groove on." - Transparent


"California haze-maker Evan Voytas has a full-length that should be coming out later this year. For now, check out his latest single, the twinkling, piano-led 'I Took a Trip on a Plane'." - Pitchfork


“Evan Voytas makes homespun, synth-based pop that showcases his impressively high singing voice. Voytas has a new single out, "Sad, Like Hearts Can Be"; the song has a big, booming drum beat, warm tones, and twinkly synth lines…” - Pitchfork


Editor's note: Every week, our colleagues at Brand X’s L.A. Unheard column unearth one of L.A.’s best undiscovered acts.

The band: Evan Voytas, Los Angeles' new chillwave champion.

The sound: With his pop melodies, woozy electronics and synth-heavy beats, Voytas is Los Angeles' top (and perhaps first) addition to the burgeoning, blogosphere-touted chillwave scene led by artists such as Washed Out and Toro Y Moi. Unlike some of his peers, however, Voytas' whispery vocals add a seductive edge to his slow-dance grooves.

The details: The singer will wrap up his free October residency at the Echo on Monday, with aid from San Diego's dreamy Lesands and the unfairly charming British twee-pop newcomers Allo Darlin'. His "Tomorrow Night We'll Go Anywhere" EP is out this week digitally and will get a physical release in November courtesy of new local label Cascine.

The rest: Download and stream Voytas' "Tomorrow Night We'll Go Anywhere" over on Brand X. - LA Times


“…trafficking in dreamy and dreary rainy-day indie pop instead of unrelenting electronic textures and rhythms. "Plane" is beautifully contemplative and insular, even as its plunked piano chords and rolling bass line expand outward.” - Prefix


“If you missed it BACK THEN IN SPRING you won’t have known how head over heels in love we were for the boundless joy of EVAN VOYTAS. Not a minute too soon LA’s favourite dude has finally dropped the sequel to that huge pop jam in our inbox and we can report he is still on fire.” - Transparent


Discography

I Live This Life Here For You - Single
Introducing Evan Voytas - EP
The New Dynamic Sound Of Evan Voytas - EP
Tomorrow Night We'll Go Anywhere - EP

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Bio

Evan Voytas is an LA-based singer/multi-instrumentalist. Hailing from rural Pennsylvania, Evan grew up listening to cassettes of ‘60s and ‘70s pop. Throughout his high school years he traveled to Philadelphia to study with Acid Jazz luminaries Steve Giordano and Pat Martino. He continued his studies when he moved to New York at age 18, becoming interested in classical theory and atonalism. His interest in jazz diminished as he became more reclusive, immersing himself in various religious texts and 70's new age paperbacks. Disappearing in New Mexico for a time, he reemerged in New York and was recruited to play lead guitar for big name pop acts, touring the world playing arenas and the television circuit.

Three years later, Voytas returned to his roots and moved to a farmhouse on a dirt road in Pennsylvania where the solitude inspired him to start recording his debut EP. His music then led him to Los Angeles, where he currently resides. With influences ranging from T. Rex to Daft Punk, Evan's music evolved into a new sound. Reverting to a spare, minimal pop format, Voytas writes an instantly familiar tune, but frames it with a sonic landscape that simultaneously references '70s pop and '90s rap. Evan is currently playing guitar and keyboards in the live bands of Gonjasufi and Flying Lotus, collaborating with rappers Blu and Danny Brown, and touring with his own backing band.