EV3N aka EV3NYOU is the stage name for the 24 year old Costa Rican singer Jose M. Llamas. Influenced by the RnB/Trap wave that and the psychedelic sound of the late 60s that defined today’s pop, his debut release “Living through a Screen” made him one of his country’s first artists to latch onto the new wave. EV3N’s latest release is the 5 track recording, entitled “Living Through a Screen”. A voice that melts. Melting is the best way to describe a natural reaction to the stunning soulfulness of EV3N. The first time I heard the opening track, “Troubled”, from his new EP, it was like being transfixed by the whitest most beautiful cloud sailing across the bluest sky. Words, when sung by the Costa Rican native, simply sound better. And when he sings of love, on “We Alright?”, the music has the potential to leave listeners in a puddle of emotions.
The heartbeat of “Living Through a Screen”, among other things, is the exploration of love and all of its various stages. EV3N eloquently touches upon deep infatuation, passionate paradise, and the crushing burden of an elusive love. He does it all gently, singing with a tenderness as if his words are meant to rub against your heart and not your eardrums.
The influence of trap music and his pop upbringing is soaked in the cracks and crevices of these tracks. The warm and resonating keyboards, and the active percussion make up the bed that most of his songs lay in.
There is a dynamic explosion that truly disrupts the affectionate aura and cotton candy softness that most of the album creates. And it can be found in the aforementioned opener, “Troubled”, which has a deep funky bass line – it’s a rare disturbance to the smooth quietness with its chilling boom.
EV3N’s pen is also strong, full of incredible imagery and candid thoughtfulness. The EP has plenty of proof that he isn’t just a singer with a good voice, as his words cut, and they can cut deep.
This EP, overall, is fantastically produced, we really get a perspective of EV3N’s world and how much of an experience love can be alongside hope, insecurities, doubts and melodrama. The instrumentation is just as pleasing as the vocals. The emotion-filled, percussive driven tracks such as “Rollback”, gives the EP a trap heartbeat that welcomes foot-tapping and head-bobbing.
The groovy bass lines in “Different” is a beautiful thing. The storytelling, delivery and, most importantly, the heartfelt passion, go hand-in-hand in this song, making it one of the best on this EP. For many young artists now, their music lacks authenticity.
Many of them become so wrapped up in the business aspect of making music, they forget that their lyrics are supposed to be a form of art. However, EV3N, challenges this by staying true to himself through his lyrics. Respect is established, leaving room for personal heartfelt anecdotes.
On the closer “Si me llama”, his vocal and temperamental delivery mirrors that of an exceptionally gifted wordsmith and emoter. The restraint in his songs, allow the feelings behind his words to exist front and center. Love has gotten the best of EV3N. He still believes in its might and wonder, and when it comes to the listener’s ear, that’s the best thing that could’ve happened.