Eva Moochlan’s tongue-in-cheek approach to D.C. post punk seems to extend to her difficult interview technique
Sneaks is the stage-name of D.C’s Eva Moochlan. This self-consciously cool, street-inspired moniker epitomises the youthful spirit of her debut album, ‘Gymnastics’. It was written, Moochlan tells me, by “just taking from my environment, lyrically: words, some of what sticks out in a commercial, or what sticks out in an ad, what words grab my attention. And then reusing that with a different meaning. With my own meaning.” The result is cartoonish, edgy, bubble-gum post-punk. A fast, fun record with tracks that are like little explosions of the city that burrow their way right down into your subconscious (a week after I hear it, I’m still trying to shake the sound of ‘True Killer’, the lead track, from my cerebrum, where it has curled into a persistent earworm). ‘Gymnastics’ is so full of attitude, so tongue-in-cheek and current, that you imagine the album cover might have ‘youth’ scrawled across it in neon-bright graffiti. What with her self-aware songs that seem to have been composed for a very contemporary high school movie (think Tarantino remakes Clueless) and the fact that, after recording an album in her friend’s basement, Moochlan has been approached by no fewer than three labels who’ve all subsequently released it, this is a girl who obviously knows what she’s doing when it comes to making music.
When it comes to promoting music, she’s less sure. I interview Sneaks to discuss the reissue of ‘Gymnastics’, on the North Carolina-based Merge label, and her forthcoming album, still very much a work in progress, due for release next year. This should be an exciting time for any young musician: after two small-scale releases of her debut record (a local label produced an early version on tape, and Danger Records distributed it on a limited vinyl release in France), she’s about to drop the record internationally, she has tour dates scheduled across the US and in London, and Merge is locked in to producing her next album. It’s a dream-come-true, surely, for a 21-year-old who spent her freshman year at college writing songs alone in her bedroom. But in person Moochlan doesn’t exude the charisma and confidence of her musical persona. She does not seem like someone thrilled to be sharing her record with the world. She seems, well, low-level pissed off.