Review by Mister Substitute
Thought of the day: a caterpillar digests itself while it cocoons, ultimately becoming a soup-like substance before becoming a fully-developed butterfly–we’ll never truly know how that feels.
The long-anticipated single from Eevie Echoes is here, and it’s everything I was hoping for: folk-punk sung with emotionally raw lyrics but with a happy ending. “Self-Care” is Eevie’s latest release, a sister album to her other single “Self-Diagnosis.” In “Self-Care,” Eevie traded the electric guitar for an acoustic one but there is something else that I would like to point out–an observation of mine that may be entirely my own: from “Self-Diagnosis” to “Self-Care” you hear this air of confidence in Eevie’s voice, it’s still genuine but now it sounds certain, proud. “Self-Care” also feels like a collective breath and sigh of satisfaction set up by the almost spiritual tension in “Self-Diagnosis.”
“Self-Care” starts off with the wanderlustful track of “Off the Grid” featuring Beautiful Rat Record’s own Bergie & the Magic Bag. What strikes a chord with me in this song is not just the desire to sort of run away from it all but to do so with the intention of evolving, coming back a different, more-authentic self. Eevie reflects upon her struggles being a trans woman in a society that will misgender her and make her feel defenseless and this leading to her desire to get “Off the Grid.” But I refuse to paint this song in a negative light because through the talks of suicidal ideations are small glimmers of hope–call them excuses, call them reasons, regardless, they are what Eevie sings about that keeps her and those who identify with her lyrics on this Earth, something we are all grateful for.
The single continues with “Dear Doll” which features the vastly talented Tape Girl on bass who is also credited for post-production, mixing and mastering “Self-Care.” “Dear Doll” is a reflective monologue that Eevie has with, well presumably a doll. Claiming “You’re my transition goal” Eevie speaks to this doll as if it were a separate entity but as the song develops, I noticed that the references started pointing back at Eevie herself, someone who has a strong social media presence and who’s “name carries weight in niche internet spaces.” Whether this is an oversight or entirely my own opinion, it gave me hope and excitement thinking to myself that Eevie is starting to see herself in a positive light, something I know her fans already do, myself included.
“Self-Care” ends with my favorite track on the single, “I Feel Okay Today” which features She/Her/Hers’ Emma Bouvier on vocals, guitar and piano. This song is the personification of “Awwww…” as you relax your muscles and smile seeing someone happy. The opening verse sings “I went to therapy today/ And we had a great talk/ The sun shines and it’s autumn season/ Got my emotional support denim on.” Absolutely picturesque. Not only beautifully painted, but the emotion behind it is felt with every note that Eevie sings.
So I want to go back to the thought of the day: this was what was going through my mind as I was listening to “Self-Care” the last time I did. The butterfly’s journey begins where the caterpillar’s ends, but not without entirely liquidating itself and re-forming into what it has always been. If “Self-Diagnosis” is Eevie as a caterpillar then “Self-Care” is Eevie as a butterfly. She gets away from it all in “Off the Grid” (cocoons), then she tells us the person she wants to be in “Dear Doll” (the inner-working going on inside the cocoon) and immerges strong, powerful, soaring higher than ever in “I Feel Okay Today.” Three songs and we get to witness a metamorphosis.