photo by Jacob Rushing / cover design by Andrew Seidler
Released this week is the first single off The Everything Nothing, the debut album from IAMEVE -- the musical creation of L.A. based singer/songwriter Tiff Randol. This is a concept album shaped around the idea of transformation, taking us on a synth pop odyssey through the fall and rise of its heroine, Eve Ami. With one single released each month -- 12 in total -- the album's first single "Throw Me a Line" sets the stage for an imaginative and hypnotic musical journey. It's as if Alice took Ziggy Stardust's hand and followed him down the rabbit hole to a world guided by the twists and turns of Randol's ethereal and colorful vocals. A powerful lyricist, Randol has previously been nominated by the Songwriters Hall of Fame as an up-and-coming writer and her music has been featured on ABC's The Lying Game, Royal Pains, Degrassi, and The Hills. She has also shared the stage with a number of talented artists including Moby, Semi Precious Weapons, Fred Armisen and DJ Spooky. If David Bowie and Kate Bush had a musical love child, it would result in the conception of IAMEVE. With The Everything Nothing, Randol has indeed created something special.
Sirisuk: What's the story behind how you got the idea of creating IAMEVE?
Randol: When I started making this record, it felt like it had a life of its own that was closer to my heart and unlike anything I'd ever done before. It just felt right to give it a proper name. One night I had this dream and heard "I Am Eve Ami" and it just resonated with me. Later on I did some name research and realized that the Latin meaning was "Life Beloved." Funny how those things happen...
Sirisuk: There is a journey that takes place on the album, with its main protagonist being Eve - can you tell me about her birth, how she came to be?
Randol: It's hard to explain how these kind of things get "birthed" -- I'm not the kind of person who pre-calculates much -- usually anything artistic is spontaneous. I get a picture in my head or feel something and all of a sudden there will be a song or an idea. I kind of feel that the Eve story created itself, inspired by my own personal experiences projected into a fantasy dreamscape of sorts. The whole story didn't make sense entirely from the beginning and with each song it was like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Simply put, it's about her journey from self-destruction to self-love.
Sirisuk: Your single "Throw Me a Line" came out this week -- what can you tell me about this song?
Randol: At the beginning of the album, Eve recognizes for the first time that she's trapped in this dark Orwellian-type Utopia and envisions the world becoming light and coming alive. Basically it's about being stuck, but feeling hope for the future.
Sirisuk: I know you're a visual artist as well. The album has a certain aesthetic to it. Any visual artists inspire you during the recording of this album?
Randol: There weren't any specific visual artists I was referencing though I did find myself drawn to a lot of mandalas, images of Shakti and symbols like the karmic wheel. And I did a lot of painting too.
Sirisuk: Are there any specific artists who have had a particular influence on what you do?
Randol: A lot, but a few that come immediately to mind are Bjork, Billie Holiday, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Freddie Mercury, The Beatles, Talking Heads and Hall and Oates.
Sirisuk: In terms of current music, what are the top five acts you've been listening to?
Randol: Empire of the Sun, The Knife, Muse, The Temper Trap, Phoenix.
Sirisuk: The video for "Throw Me a Line" was also officially released this week. I know you raised the money for it on Kickstarter and it was spoofed on Portlandia. Did you get a good chuckle from this?
Randol: Yeah, I was flattered. Fred is a friend and I thought it was hilarious.
Sirisuk: How would you describe the music on this album?
Randol: It has some dark elements, but is also uplifting. It's a mix of live and electronic elements and very song-driven. Lyrics and melody come first, but we definitely experimented a lot with the sounds -- synths, percussion, layering vocals, etc.
Sirisuk: What's next this year?
Randol: Every month we're putting out a new single -- there are 12 songs on the record. The next one and is called "Another Day" and it comes out in May. We are attempting at making a video for every song, but no promises on that one. We'll see how it goes. Live shows of course which will be posted at iamevemusic.com for anyone that wants to keep up to date on when we're playing.
"Throw Me a Line" can be purchased at iameve.bandcamp.com, iamevemusic.com, and iTunes