By Chloe Roth
We just received a press release announcing the debut album of Evelyn Evelyn, “the world’s only conjoined-twin singer-songwriter duo.” The twins are apparently the discovery, or, if our doubts are correct, the brainchild, of Amanda Palmer (of the Dresden Dolls) and Jason Webley (accordionist extraordinaire). The press release contains a suspect biography of the purported 25-year-old twins, Lyn and Eva, born in Kansas, orphaned at birth, and eventually rescued from toiling in the circus by Palmer and Webley. Totally plausible.
The most relevant signs point to a resounding “no.” The songs on their Myspace page, though charming with their cabaret style and old-timey harmonies, are being sung by male and female vocalists (we’d venture a guess at Palmer and Webley), and seem to be about the twins rather than by them. What’s more, the lyrics reveal these songs not to be Evelyn Sisters creations at all, but rather ditties written and recorded to hype their upcoming debut. In the song “A Campaign of Shock and Awe,” the two voices sing: “Ladies and Gentlemen/ Critics and hipsters/ Have you heard the new disc/ By the Evelyn Sisters…As featured in Rolling Stone, Spin, the New Yorker, and Pitchfork.” Not the most poetic, perhaps, but it gets a point across. The MySpace pictures are either vintage black and white portraits of long-dead twins or artistic renderings of the so-called Evelyns. And then there is the obvious doubt that any sane mother would bestow upon her twins, albeit conjoined, two half-names (Eva and Lyn), like they were some sort of puzzle to be put together (or more appropriately, pulled apart, ack!). Plus their mom supposedly died in labor, which would mean it’s really the orphanage that masterminded the whole thing.
If the Evelyn sisters do indeed exist, and we sincerely hope that they do, then this “campaign of shock and awe” will prove to have been an impressive stroke of marketing genius. But however appropriately vaudevillian it would be of Amanda Palmer to orchestrate a hoax of this magnitude, if the sisters turn out to be the imaginary figments of marketing alone, the audience might prove more disappointed than impressed. So, do they exist or not? I suppose we just have to wait to find out. But how anti-climactic it will be if they don’t exist, and how politically incorrect this article will seem in retrospect if they do.