By Luke Voogt
A three-faced, six-armed woman and a flaming Ferris wheel take viewers on trippy journey into the dark but fun lyrics of Wallington born-and-bred artist Evangeline Sestito.
The video clips of her soon-to-be-released tracks, Euphoria and Bad Parties, dive into the Uncanny Valley – that creepy grey area of the not quite human.
“I wanted it to be a very visual journey even though you can’t do a full music video in stage 4 lockdown,”said the 25-year-old, now based in Melbourne.
“I feel like I must be a little bit disturbed because people who saw them said, ‘this is a bit creepy’ and I was like, ‘oh really?’”
The stunning visuals are the work of graphic artist Nicholas Keays, who Evangeline found online.
“I was such a huge fan of his – I feel like a fan girl when I work with him,” she said.
“It’s become this beautiful ongoing collaboration.”
The art is an apt accompaniment for the new tracks, set to drop in a five-track EP on September 16.
“They get quite creepy but only if you listen carefully,” she said.
“When I’m writing a song for someone else I can write in their perspective, but when it comes to myself I can’t make it up.
“When I write my own lyrics, it’s in the deepest way something I’ve experienced, which is both great and terrible.”
Evangeline’s music is loaded with dualities and personal experience, like a favourite line in new track Neighbourhood: “I’m scared of all the bodies in the backyard.”
“I can picture this party that I was at where I was socially-anxious and overwhelmed with all the people there,” she said.
“I’m very introverted and at that point of my life I was even more introverted.”
But the word “bodies” also referred to witnessing people having bad reactions to drugs, she explained.
The upcoming release feels like the latest of “several music careers” for Evangeline, who travelled to Los Angeles for recording sessions in 2015.
“This is the first time I’ve been self-managed and independent,” she said.
“Previously it was like, ‘OK, we’ll do the photo shoot, put on the pretty makeup and put you on the cover.’ I used to hate that.
“I don’t try to put on a mask anymore, because I’ve grown into a different type of artist.
“It’s so much more fun, stressful and time-consuming. But it sort of makes me feel more proud about the process.”
Musicians like Lorde and Lana Del Rey showed “you don’t have to be x, y and z to be a popstar”, Evangeline explained.
“I didn’t get into music when I was four or five because I wanted to be famous, I needed an outlet that wasn’t sport.”
She grew up Wallington, performing for her family when she was young.
“My family can pull up random videos – thank goodness there were no iPhones then – just the good old VHS, because I was an out-there child.”
She would go on to take classical singing tests in high school and leave before year 12 to study music.
Known to friends and family as ‘Evie’, she took Evangeline as her stage name.
“No one’s ever called me by it – it was a really lazy but perfect solution,” she said.
“So thank you mum and dad.”
While stage 4 lockdown put “a spanner in the works” of her music video plans, it allowed Evangeline to put the finishing touches on the EP.
“In one way it’s sort of lucky timing that I have something to focus on,” she said.
“I started it officially midway through last year but the concepts I’ve been thinking about for a while, so it was just kind of getting the right words.”