Evan Bartels has continued to learn and collect stories following the release of his 2017 debut album, The Devil, God, & Me. His experiences of touring throughout the United States and becoming a father have enhanced his perspective and widened his lens of the world. The past two years of his life have offered deeper insight and empathy toward the struggles of the human experience, and he clearly expresses this in his poignant and personal songwriting.
Storytelling has always been a fixture in his writing, and Bartels continues to evolve his narratives by digging deeper beneath the surface and clinging to an authentic message. He captures a moment and fleshes it out to its barest, rawest form, thereby creating a piece of art that—regardless of genre or setting—moves the listener. Bartels’s most current work embodies this action and directly reflects his mission to convey truthful narratives.
2019 will see the release of a new five-song EP: Promised Land. Divergent from his previous work, this release marks a transition into a new artistic phase and applies his aforementioned understanding of the world. Promised Land is a collection of songs centered on the art of breaking down one’s belief systems, habits, personality, and rebuilding a new person. Bartels says,
“These songs are love songs. They’re about loving myself enough to question everything I am and being willing to break myself down to my core so that I can find who I can be if I’m at my best. They’re love songs to my wife and son, and in them there’s a promise of giving everything of myself to them. I wanted to capture a transition in my life in a way that I believe other people can look at themselves and find common ground through vulnerability.”
This EP launches Bartels onto a new stage. After having music featured on comedian Theo Von’s hit podcast, This Past Weekend, Bartels has found a global audience. Von said of Bartels,
“I hear it all in his voice, sometimes people have that special gift and you can hear the whole world in them… there’s a lot of beautiful music out there but that boy’s got something in him. In his voice I can hear it all…I can see the whole timeline of everything. Sometimes that’s the gift of music, a voice and some lyrics come along and put it together for me. He did it.”
Evan Bartels isn’t holding back. With a full tour schedule, the release of his Promised Land EP, and a new full-length LP on the way, 2019 looks to be a promising year. During a time when we’re all looking for something to believe in, Bartels is preaching a much-needed gospel: live a life that doesn’t shy away from difficulty, but rather uses every aspect of the journey, its joys, and sorrows, to grow into the best version of ourselves.