Elise Trouw on Collaborating, Music Videos, and Bringing Her Music To Life Live (3/29 at WCL)

Earlier this week, impressively eclectic 23-year-old singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Elise Trouw had a bit of a milestone when she returned to The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado.  “The last...

Earlier this week, impressively eclectic 23-year-old singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Elise Trouw had a bit of a milestone when she returned to The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado.  “The last time I was there I was the opening act, so it’ll be cool to be back at the same place headlining!” she tells me during a phone chat last week, just days before the show.  The last time she played the venue was in 2018, as support for alternative R&B outfit Moonchild, but her latest stop at the venue was opening night of The Losing Sleep Tour, which runs through April 18th in Houston, Texas, and includes a March 29th stop at The Lounge at World Café Live, which will feature an opening set from Angelica, aka “solo playtime” of our buddy Lizzy of Lizdelise.

Elise Trouw’s current headlining jaunt is in support of the artist’s four-song Losing Sleep EP, which dropped last month, and which she tells me represents something a little new for her: “This was a collaborative EP with the producer, KOIL, melding our styles together.  I brought in songs and then he did the production…  I just love the quality of his production.”  In addition to the recording process, Trouw – who cites Steely Dan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Radiohead, and Little Dragon as some of her favorite artists — also tells me that working with KOIL gave this batch of songs a slightly different sound than previous releases: “They have a little more of an electronic element to them.”

Despite her age, Elise Trouw – who primarily identifies as a drummer, and is endorsed by Pearl, Paiste, and Vater — has been in the music industry for a while now, having established herself as a YouTube star for the better part of a decade, capable of amassing several million views for her mashups and live loop videos; she also released her first official LP, Unraveling, in 2017 on her own label, the San Diego-based Goober Records.  Her most recent music video, for last year’s “Man Invisible” – a poignantly quirky anti-love song with a video to match, with Trouw appearing as a postmodern femme fatale in training, utilizing children’s toys to help illustrate the song’s narrative – has already racked up nearly 200,000 views.  Although the video looks like something that easily could’ve found its way into heavy rotation on MTV during the golden age of music videos, she tells me that the process of making it was actually quite DIY: “I just kind of shot it myself at my studio…  I have, essentially, zero budget for this…  A lot of the time, I’m driving in my car and listening to the song repeatedly, and just visualizing what would go with it…”

When I ask Trouw about some of the highlights of her musical career, she tells me that, in a general sense, just being able to see the quality of her own work improve over the years, and always striving to continue to improve, is very validating.  However, more specifically, she does note her hometown show at The Music Box in San Diego, in addition to her cover of “Enter Sandman” with Travis Barker (and accompanying music video), for the Amazon Prime Academy Award nominated film Sound of Metal: “I did a cover of a Metallica song in 2020, and it was a really big production, but they gave me creative freedom to really do what I wanted with it!”

Trouw also tells me that finally getting to play her latest songs live has been really rewarding: “I’ve been doing a lot of live looping, so the live versions are a little different, and I always hang out after shows to meet people, so it’s great when they’re like, ‘I love the version that you played live.’”  When I ask what can be expected of the show at World Café Live, she tells me that, despite the layers and dynamics of her sounds, the live show is relatively stripped down: “It’s just me onstage performing…  I’m gonna be playing all the music from my new EP, a few covers, a few mashups, and maybe like one song from my first album…  It’s lots of looping, with live drums.”  And while nothing is official yet, Trouw does tell me that more new music and additional tours are hopefully to come: “There’s some new music in the works.  I’m hoping to do some international touring later in the year, but nothing’s been scheduled.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.