SINGER/SONGWRITER EVIE ARCHER
EMERGES FROM A TIME OF
DOUBT, CONFUSION AND A ‘LIFE IN SAND’,
GETTING BACK TO HER LIFELONG PASSION FOR
MUSIC ON HER DEBUT ALBUM, AN INSPIRING
HOMAGE TO THE POWER OF RESILIENCE
The New Jersey Based Performer’s Debut Holiday Single
“On Christmas Day” Was Helmed by Legendary Steely Dan
Producer Gary Katz, Who Says, “Every Once in a While,
An Artist Comes Along Whose Music Separates Them From
The Crowd…Evie Is One Of Those Artists”
Foreshadowing the wild and funky, amazing yet often maddening, zigzagging journey Evie Archer (www.eviearcher.com) ended up taking toward her current emergence as a leading singer/songwriter, she shifted majors frequently at Princeton University.
Walking the same hallowed halls as President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; financial magnate Jeff Bezos of Amazon; Broadway producer Josh Logan, and actors Jimmy Stewart, Dean Kean, David Duchovny and Brooke Shields, she made an adventure of academia on her way to becoming an Ivy League grad in search of a vision for the future. She started out at Princeton in accelerated pre-med, switched to economics, and then music before finally graduating as an English major. She loved Shakespeare, and did her senior thesis on Hamlet, but that tattoo of a muted post horn on her forearm is a symbol from another book she embraced – Thomas Pynchon’s classic 60’s novella “The Crying of Lot 49.” It’s got a long convoluted plot – very much opposite of the personal and heartfelt, straight to the point songs on her infectious debut album Life In Sand, which she calls an ode to the power of resilience.
Archer’s exposure to music started very early. While her mother, Sandy, was pregnant, Sandy put headphones on her stomach so that the embryonic Evie (born Melissa Rosenberg) could hear classical music, Seals & Crofts, Linda Ronstadt and Carly Simon. When Archer was two, she begged her mom for piano lessons and learned to play “Over The Rainbow.” With perfect pitch and a genius IQ, she sang tunes by memory from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Les Miserables” at four. Before she was 10, she was studying classical music and singing opera, and she performed in plays and musicals at Princeton Day School throughout her teens.
While at Princeton Day School, she took a class with famed composer Laurie Altman, who “told my parents that I had real potential to do this as a career.” Though Archer penned the song “Sweet Destruction” (now on Life In Sand) in high school, she didn’t take these kind words too seriously. Later at Princeton University, music became more a part of who she was. She took composition classes with Professor Paul Lansky, a pioneer in the development of computer music, who also saw her potential and encouraged her talent. Also while at Princeton University, she joined the campus’s Roaring 20 a cappella group and won the university’s Princetonian Idol competition with her performance of one of her original songs.
When she graduated college, though, she pushed music aside for a time and lived the life of an emotional and spiritual “Vagabond,” the name of a song she recently wrote that captures that longtime feeling of never feeling quite at home anywhere. On a whim, she moved to North Carolina, where she waited tables and tutored. She then returned to the New York area and enrolled as a student at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school. Archer then did paralegal work at a law firm, and, driven by her interest in spiritual studies, attended Union Theological Seminary, the oldest independent seminary in the nation. She later enrolled in a post baccalaureate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack, taking psychology courses because her binge watching of crime shows made her think she might like a career in forensic psychology.
Her parents then suggested that she return to her first love – music. “They asked me if there was anything I could think of that, since I was a little kid that I’ve stuck with besides songwriting,” Archer says. “They were the impetus.” But, for Archer, music is just a means to an end. “No matter what endeavor I tried, there was always the running theme of wanting to help people. Now the hope I have with my songwriting is that it can touch people and provide comfort and encouragement for what they’re going through. At one point in my wanderings, I became obsessed with self-help books, and one of them talked about creating a personal mission statement. Even though I wasn’t focused on music at the time, I remember writing, ‘I want to be a successful singer/songwriter who through emotional honesty helps people connect with their feelings and be their authentic selves.’ That’s true more today than ever.”
Archer is done being a starving vagabond. She is working at Manhattan’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition during the day, and, in keeping with the philosophy of the school, has started eating more organic foods, cutting out sugar and starches. She’s also going barefoot whenever possible, celebrating a more primal lifestyle. And things are looking very well for Evie’s music career – more kindred in spirit to Archer’s uptempo, piano driven romantic pop/rocker “Close To You” and the lighthearted “In The Dark” than to some of the darker themed cathartic gems that also populate Life In Sand.
“Close To You” recently made a powerful single week leap from #67 to #41 on the BDS (Neilsen Broadcast Data Systems) A/C Chart, and a single week jump on the Mediabase A/C chart from #82 to #54. The single snagging airplay on numerous Adult Contemporary and Hot AC stations across the country in cities like Long Island, NY, Jackson, MS and Monterey, CA. It has also reached #4 on the Mediabase AC Independent Label Releases chart.
Last fall, the singer opened shows for famed Irish folk/pop great Paul Brady and singer/songwriter Tyler Hilton at prominent East Coast venues (including The City Winery in New York City), and was a headliner at Philadelphia’s Tin Angel. Over the past few months, she performed in NYC several more times, including at the Rockwood Music Hall and the Annie O Music Series at The Standard. She has been interviewed by numerous radio stations, and featured in a number of articles. Bob Leggett, writing for the Examiner, calls her “the best thing to come out of New Jersey in quite some time.”
Paving the way for the release of Life In Sand, Archer released the single “On Christmas Day,” an original song about missing loved ones during the holiday season. The song was played by Macy’s at all of its stores throughout the country, as well as by Sirius XM and radio stations across the U.S. The song was also the moving force behind, and background song for, an emotional music video created by Full Circle Home, a nonprofit organization that helps our deployed troops send their love and thanks to their heroes – their loved ones back home. Evie’s own lyric and performance videos of On Christmas Day were both nominated for L.A. Music Critics Awards.
The track was produced by legendary pop/rock producer Gary Katz, renowned for his groundbreaking recordings with Steely Dan as well as his work over the years with legendary figures like Diana Ross, Joe Cocker and Laura Nyro. Katz, who also co-produced the poignant, self-reflective pop rocker “Bad Behavior” from Life In Sand with the album’s main producer, Martin Briley, has said, “Every once in a while, an artist comes along whose music separates them from the crowd. Evie Archer is one of those artists. She makes you fall in love with music all over again.”
Archer calls Briley, a renowned British singer/songwriter who has penned songs for everyone from Celine Dion, *NSYNC, Pat Benatar, Kenny Loggins and Gregg Allman, “a glass slipper fit for me.” His mentorship over the past few years, starting with critiques of her early demos, has proved invaluable to her development.
Briley’s worked with superstars so he knows a powerhouse talent when he hears one. “I’ve always enjoyed songs that combine dark, introspective lyrics and irresistible catchy melodies,” he says. “That’s what she does so well.”
We are all lucky she has found her way back to music again.