Frau Eva’s music is humbling, whether it’s in the delivery or in the songs themselves. They got their start performing in D.C. at house shows and quickly moved to larger venues, then hit the road for a tour once they released their EP, Rip Out the Threads, last summer. There’s been some documentation of their development as a band along the way, giving them the ability to share their modest music through a series of videos. One video, shot for the City Paper, shows the band performing in front of a pile of snow, wrapped up in jackets and scarves. Withstanding a freezing cold night, the wind rips through the audio at times, but the group carries on with delicate composure.
In another two-part video, we find Frau Eva at a clearing near a corn field, where they play two acoustic songs with a minimal setup. There’s an improvised feeling in these renditions of their songs, and not necessarily in the compositions, but more so in their ability to strip down their equipment while still maintaining a solid musical structure.
Each member of the trio brings something to the table in equal proportions; they all contribute lyrically and instrumentally, and often times, play multiple instruments on top of vocals. And such variety in their instrumentation. While playing guitar, from acoustic to electric, from fingerpicking to sliding lines, Vanessa Degrassi will sometimes pause for a moment to insert flute interludes into songs. David Klinger provides chords and melodies from his keyboard and guitar arrangements and from time to time, throws in the surprise effect of a flugelhorn. Percussionist Ben Usie doesn’t limit himself to a usual kit. Sometimes he’ll play hand drums, or in these videos, he’ll add a simple jingled beat as he plays guitar.
Frau Eva will be playing Monday night at the Galaxy Hut along with Janel and Anthony, another intimate and unique D.C. band that hones in on the dynamics between a guitar and cello. Doors open at 8 p.m. and music begins at 9.