After a long break, by her prolific standards at least, the multi-talented Mae Shults aka Everson Poe returns with the follow up to 2021’s Grief, with the emotive and haunting The Night Country. Tackling themes of female oppression in the face of a patriarchal society and utilising varying vocal techniques, Everson Poe has once again produced an emotionally charged and immersive album that occupies its own space. Lengthy, narrative-driven tracks inspired by fairytales are propelled by Shult’s distinctive, melancholic guitar playing and unique and arresting vocal styles.
The haunting ‘I Am The Maker Of My Own Evil’ opens the album with chorus drenched guitars and rumbling bass lines, reminiscent of The Cure at their darkest, before the track switches up dramatically mid way through, giving way to something much darker and primal, Shults’ devastating harsh vocals taking centre stage. The short and eerie ‘The House of Death’ breaks up the lengthier tracks of the album, but it’s certainly no respite, with Schults’ distorted screams echoing out of unsettling synths and atmospherics written and performed by Chris H of The Earth Devoured By The Sun. The richly textured ‘The Chamber Of Blood’ is stunning, and features mesmerising vocals and caustic guitar work from Schults throughout. The brutal ’What A Pretty Bird Am I’ closes the album in spectacular style, with ferocious, cavernous drumming, cathartic screams and melancholic guitar lines.
With such a vast catalogue of work and an equally impressive work rate, it’s often hard to place Everson Poe album’s side by side and judge them accordingly. That said, The Night Country must surely stand as one of Schult’s finest. From the raw beauty and range of her vocals to the bewitching melodies and emotive guitar work, The Night Country is a dense and immersive record that deserves to be heard by a large audience.
The Night Country is out now via Trepanation Recordings and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg