Starting out under the name Eves, the songs of Hannah Karydas first appeared online two years ago, and were promptly added to triple j rotation. The ensuing 12 months comprised stacks of gigging and songwriting, luring in fans from around the country.
Interest continued to ramp up last December when Karydas tweaked her stage moniker to Eves The Behavior, and subsequently delivered the anthemic single ‘TV’. But despite two years of non-stop activity, the debut Eves The Behavior EP didn’t arrive until this July.
“When you’re about 18, which is when I started, you think one day you’ll reach some sort of destination of, ‘This is where I’m going to be as an artist, and this is going to be my sound,’” says Karydas. “It took me about a year into putting stuff out to realise there’s never going to be a final destination. You’re always going to be growing and learning. This time next year I’m going to be, maybe, a completely different person.”
On that note, containing just three tracks (plus a Warpaint remix of ‘TV’), Eves The Behavior is more akin to an introductory paragraph than a comprehensive exploration of the project’s stylistic parameters.
“I wanted to just get into a space where I had put together a nice selection of songs that almost acted like a business card,” Karydas says. “That’s how the EP is for me. Two of the songs were already released and one’s a remix, so it wasn’t exactly a body of work no-one had heard before. But I think it’s a nice little taste of where I’m going; a front door entry into the house of Eves The Behavior.”
‘TV’and ‘Electrical’ feature big beating choruses and sing-along melodies. The third track, ‘Digging’, is a bit of a sidestep; there’s greater restraint and more of a minimal, downbeat electronic flavour. “I thought that was a really good counterpoint to the other two tracks,” Karydas says. “I really wanted to wait until I had that before putting anything out. I wrote that when I was overseas, then I was like, ‘OK, I could put this on the EP.’”
Along with adding a sonic contrast, Karydas is especially proud of ‘Digging’ for the circumstances of its conception. “With ‘Electrical’ and ‘TV’ I was in the studio with someone and it was like, ‘Let’s track everything, blah blah blah,’ but ‘Digging’ was made 80 per cent on my computer in airports and hotel rooms,” she says. “That was a big step for me, because I was lacking a lot of confidence in my production abilities.
“Going into the music industry, you’re put into a bit of hamster wheel and it’s like, ‘You have to work with producers and you have to stick to this framework of how music is produced and released.’ It takes you a little while to shake that off. I think I shook it off and realised I can do it all myself.”
Karydas can’t take all the credit for feeling bold enough to break free from the industry-imposed formats of production and release. “With ‘Digging’, I got Stella [Mozgawa] from Warpaint to play some drums on it, and she was actually the one that gave me the confidence to put it out as it was. I was playing her a bunch of things I’d done on my computer and she was like, ‘Why aren’t you doing everything like this? This is so cool.’ It took that comment for me to be like, ‘Oh, it’s not actually that bad.’”
Being thrust into the music industry at a young age, there’s any number of know-it-alls waiting to instruct you on how things must be done. But at the end of the day, what really matters is the creation of interesting ideas, and for this there are no rules.
“When I was 18, 19, you know, you’ve got a really young mind, not fully developed and all that sort of thing, and it’s understandable that most people don’t see that. As humans we have such a strong mentality to just be sheep and to follow what we’re told without question. I get annoyed at my anatomy sometimes and the way my brain works. But that’s alright.”
Having gained confidence in the strength of her own ideas, Karydas is now unafraid to push Eves The Behavior into more adventurous territory, and she’ll do just that during her forthcoming headline tour. She’s played a lot of major shows in the last couple of years – festivals such as Groovin The Moo, Laneway and Splendour In The Grass and supports for the likes of Sky Ferreira – so she’s no stranger to entertaining big crowds. However, these will be her first headline shows to date.
“I remember when I first started playing ‘Electrical’ and I definitely noticed audiences reacting to that song in a different way to the other songs in my set. At the time I was like, ‘I’ve got to write more songs like this.’ But then I was like, ‘I don’t actually have to do that.’ It’s entirely up to me what I write and I don’t want my songcraft to be defined by how stages are set up.
“[I’ve been] making weird, esoteric sounds and pushing it. I don’t really mind if it’s alienating or hard to understand. If it makes me feel something, that adds into the whole energy of what I do, so I don’t think that should be overlooked.”