Photo: Cat Scrivener

Zoee balances the visceral and the soothing on art-pop oddity “Evening Primrose”

Zoee has already proven her idiosyncrasies on her latest singles “Microwave” and “Host”, but she continues to surprise with today’s new one “Evening Primrose” – further evidence that her forthcoming debut album is one not to be missed. On the new song, she says:

This a nighttime song, with metaphors of flowers blooming in the dark and the healing power of the Evening Primrose flower. It’s also about throwing up in a Carhartt bag on a night train after being dumped and the mania that ensues.”

That aura of nighttime and healing are transmitted through soft synths and a light click, which cloak the atmosphere of “Evening Primrose” with a balmy softness, but Zoee’s matter-of-fact speak-singing cuts through that immediately: “I threw up in the Carhartt bag you gave me on the train / I was ashamed, I wanted to call you but you blocked me just last night.” This forlornness carries through the song, as Zoee descends into mania – and falls down her stairs while she’s at it. The histrionics are underscored by almost-operatic vocal inflections, severe drum rolls and plenty of other atmospheric tones, which help to animate the character of Zoee the broken and downtrodden. Despite the acuteness of feeling, she never needs to raise her voice, as her words and instrumental to convey the unsettling internal drama at play.

The video for “Evening Primrose” was directed by Daniele d’Ingeo, and it takes the song to a whole new plane of strangeness. Zoee says:

The video is directed by Daniele d’Ingeo who always brings my lyrics to life with such thoughtful and playful ideas. Dani had dressed up for a Zoom party during lockdown, which then inspired the cardboard cut-out concept for the video. We enlisted painter Coralie Burke to create these surreal nighttime scenes of London –  a rat in the headlights, a chorus of stoned, opera singing evening primrose flowers, some terrified moths. It feels so fulfilling to collaborate with other artists who tune-in to the concept but also add their own spin on the world you create in a song.”

Watch the video below or listen to “Evening Primrose” on streaming platforms.

Zoee’s debut album Flaw Flower arrives on June 25 via Illegal Data (pre-order on Bandcamp). You can find Zoee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.