Folk music can get a bit of a bad reputation for being a little too, well, folksy.
Many people I talk to about folk get the impression that it’s all a bunch of acoustic guitars jamming over each other or that it’s the brother to the polaraizing country music. This is a stereotype, of course, but I can see where they’re coming from. A lot of folk can be one-note.
But especially in recent years, we’ve seen folk grow to encompass more sounds than ever. What sticks out to me the most about “Eve” is the clever and subtle way Hudgens’ lets each of the many instruments he plays have their moment. His piano punctuates lyrics throughout the verses and choruses guiding your emotions. It’s never in competition with the steady acoustic guitar which carries the song forward–its backbone.
He’s chosen moments to allow sprinkles of other sounds, synths, and instruments that come together like a painting.
Each layer adds a certain color to the track. You get the sense that nothing is arbitrary.
Sweet sound of eve
lead me through this haze
Safety you seek
in the arms of grace
That carries over into the tune’s sensitive lyrics. “Eve” talks about finding hope and possibility amidst the fog of uncertainty and hardship. Difficult times are always around. But with your eyes opened wide enough, you’ll always find something or someone that can help keep you going. Whether that be faith, passion, or love–perhaps all three–there’s beauty to be discovered.
“The ocean’s vast
but rarely is she kind”
“Eve” is poetic in nature. It’s full of pretty one-liners, philosophies the artist may personally abide by. Guided by experience, “Eve” seems to be a summarization of a tough period someone’s gone through and the things that got them through it. Hudgens’ words are both and vague and personal. Without telling us upfront what happened, he tells us the best part of the story–the resolution. While some might like to hear more about the hardships themselves (those details are what tends to make a song most relatable), I enjoy the hopeful and happy tone the song takes. When you’ve made it through to the other side, those details don’t seem nearly as important as they once did. The song is a reminder of perseverance and of better times to come.
Hudgens’ soft raspy voice carries the wisdom of time.
The beautifully breathy but controlled vocals add an element of ease to the track. While he sings of deep topics not easy to come to terms with, he sings with an easiness that makes the troublesome times just float on by. It’s the tracks most distinct feature. Not often do you get whispery folk music with so much power and pitch accuracy behind it. Hudgens’ soothing harmonies layer throughout the song like waves crashing. They buoy in and out of the forefront, a peaceful way to emphasize his most poignant lyrics.
“Well the Earth may bleed
but never will she die”
“Eve” is an easy-listening track seasoned with moments of inspiration. Between Hudgens’ seamless musical transitions and legato vocals, the track can calm even the uneasiest of nerves. But that doesn’t make it a strictly-background-music song. There are vulnerabilities and observations to be heard. It’s inspirational and hopeful but never too preachy.