After returning home from a year-long stint as an exchange student in Europe, Knapp worked on his family's organic farm long enough to buy a one-way ticket to a new city. After researching its rich arts scene and bike-friendly infrastructure, Knapp chose Portland, OR as his new base. To add an additional element of challenge, Knapp booked his flight to Salt Like City and biked the rest of the way to Portland. He arrived in October of 2014 at the age of 18.
His musical path wasn't as clear-cut as he wanted or expected it to be. Knapp spent his first few years trying to sneak into venues to play, as he wasn't able to enter most clubs or bars as a minor due to strict Oregon liquor laws. He started playing open mic nights and soon found himself joining bands and doing work as a freelance bassist. After most of his projects fell through, he began to prioritize what he originally came to Portland to do: his original music.
Evan Knapp's debut EP, 'Green', began with him challenging himself to record for a minimum of 2 hours each day in May of 2018. With the goal of having a collection of demos finished by the end of the month, Knapp's original intent for the release was to hire a drummer, bring the demos to a producer, and record in a proper studio. As he found himself getting more and more of the production work done during the demo-recording process, Knapp's plans began to change. Inspired by an up-and-coming generation of musicians from the London music scene (Tom Misch, Bruno Major, Jordan Rakei) as well as local friend and bandmate Salvatore Manalo, Knapp chose to take more of a DIY approach for his first release.
The entirety of 'Green' was recorded between Knapp's apartment in Southeast Portland and Manalo's town home in Aloha, OR. Knapp co-produced the record with Manalo, who also handled the mixing and the mastering, resulting in a crisp-sounding record with a homemade, DIY feel. The instrumentation was handled solely by Knapp and Manalo as well, save one feature from local keyboardist Paul Paresa on 'Windmill' (available only on Bandcamp and CD). Offering a sonic foundation of chords rooted in jazz/soul, 'Green' is a pop/rock record with touches of blues and folk. Its sound has been described by listeners as "easy", "warm", and "mellow".
Conceptually, 'Green' is a representation of Knapp's story. It covers his time in Europe, the bike ride from Utah to Oregon, and his adjustments to life in Portland. Knapp released a Full Version on CD that features an extra song, liner notes, and a biographical track list that helps better tell his story. It can also be found on his Bandcamp. The Streaming Version can be listened to on Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, Apple Music, and anywhere else that music is consumed. It features only 5 songs and is presented in a different order.
'Green' was released on October 18th, 2018, to a sold out crowd at Portland's premier listening room, the Alberta St. Pub. Knapp is eager to get some press behind it and is already in the process of conceptualizing his next record, which he hopes to have out by early summer of 2019.