Do you want to know about the downside of love? Listen to the eponymous debut album by Evan Brum and The Royal High. The New York City-based songwriter crafts nine brooding, dark and moody songs enhanced with his gritty vocals, most of which focus on different aspects of the negative side of relationships.

Evan talks about his inspiration and subject matter:

“Some of the songs like Radio and Black & Blue I drew inspiration through personal life experiences I was going through at the time…the heartbreak of Black & Blue…Radiowas more of an introspective look at the resignation of living alone and waiting for some sort of message.

Songs such as Shining Star and Here Comes the Sun show a more abstract approach to songwriting…I take a lot of inspiration from Van Morrison’s early work. I’ve always admired artists who can use the power of abstract imagery to evoke human emotion and to relate it to their personal experience. This is what I was going for on these songs.

There is also an element of old fashioned, straight ahead rock n’ roll in my songwriting, such as the no nonsense New Love—just telling it like it is. I invoked Bob Seger here.

One of my favorites on the album is Look Who’s Cryin’ with Bryan Smith’s wonderful Melotron sound.”

Evan grew up in small town Rhode Island surrounded by the sounds of classic American roots and blues music. He was influenced by artists such as Taj Mahal, Albert King, Richie Havens, Van Morrison, Bob Seger, and The Allman Brothers Band. Over the past few years, Evan and his band The Royal High have developed an eclectic mix of classic roots based music, combined with a modern rock edge. Evan’s raspy vocal delivery has been described as a “Tom Jones/Tom Waits sandwich.” Evan compliments his gritty vocal styling with percussive, rhythm based acoustic guitar playing.

In 2004, after several years as singer for a string of local bands in Rhode Island, Evan took up the guitar and began developing his songwriting. Now, his debut album showcases his songcrafting skills with nine stunning original compositions. The songs, though diverse and distinct, share a dark, moody feel and subject matter that is enhanced by his raw vocal style. In both the songs and the performances, you will hear hints of Springsteen, Mellencamp, Van Morrison and Bob Seger, but Evan is not an imitator—this is an exciting original talent.

The Royal High is Jon Shriver on lead guitar, multi-keyboardist Bryan Smith, drummer Matt Zebroski, and New Zealand native Mat Fieldes on bass.