If Evan Weiss isn’t a household name within the scene yet, he will be soon. The singer/songwriter’s resume includes two very ambitious projects – one album featuring a song for every week in a year (52 Weeks) and one collection of twelve songs that represent twelve different cities (Twelve Towns). He’s already impressed critics and fans alike, and that’s even before you sit down with his first true full-length album, the aptly titled Proper. While the majority of Weiss’ discography is of the soft, acoustic variety, his No Sleep debut is stuffed with twelve energetic and poignant tracks, all in its full-band glory.
The distorted guitar riffs of opener “Embracing Facts” may take you by surprise, especially considering Weiss’ past work. But that track sets the tone of Proper; Weiss had a lot more studio time for this release and it shows throughout the album. It continues with the infectious “Discretion & Depressing People” and American Football fans will fall in love with the twist and turn guitar chords of “Fortunate Friends.”
But Proper really begins to hit its stride with the emphatic “Write It Right,” which really showcases Weiss’ improving vocals and is paced by a powerful drum beat. The mid-tempo “Midnight: Carroll Street” is a nice change of pace as some of the album’s best lyrics appear here, while “Connecticut Steps” slowing builds into a crashing crescendo. The lo-fi “Where Your Nights Often End” will please older IIOI fans, as it’s reminiscent of a quiet and intimate “bedroom recording.” These tracks, along with the faster tracks, show off the versatility Weiss has in his songwriting. Whether it’s the driving instrumentation of “An Evening With Ramsey Beyer” (which features sneaky-good guitar work from Weiss) or the urgent pop-punk of the title track, Weiss’ storytelling will enthrall listeners from all different genres.
Finally, Into It. Over It.’s debut album will properly introduce music fans to Evan Weiss. A house show veteran, Weiss proves on Proper that he has the ability to headline shows in the (hopefully very) near future. It maintains the intimacy of his previous output yet progresses in a way that keeps Into It. Over It. fresh and exciting to listeners. For an artist that has so many songs in his discography, it feels like Weiss is just getting started.