Lissy Trullie – Self Taught Learner

In a recent NME issue, Lissy Trullie described herself as being “shy”. Now contrast this with the picture of her on the adjacent page. The leather jacket, the business like stare in her eyes, the menacing twist of the upper lip, whilst all the while looking oh so effortlessly cool, the whole “shy” thing then doesn’t really seem feasible. Yet she continues to insist that she is. Well this certainly doesn’t come across her in music either. The confident growl, the take no nonsense lyrics and the audacity to take one of the most popular songs of last year and not just do it justification, but also improve it, does not sound like the attributes of a person who is “shy”.

Now do not be fooled by all this talk of Lissy, she is not all alone in creating this cloud of cool. The other members of the band are Eben D’Amico on guitar, Harley Viera-Newton on bass and Josh Elrod on drums and each one of them seem the same to have confident swagger that Lissy has. Self-belief oozes out of this EP and with good reason too. It’s actually very good.

The first track on the EP is “Boy Boy”, a track full of indie-pop strut, energetic guitar hooks and vocals that shift from deep, gruffly almost manly tones, to something of a girlish high-pitched squeal. Lissy’s androgynous style shows that this girl can hit any note she wishes too and/or has too. The girl has talent. Good start. “She Said” is the second song on the EP and it is a catchy, tuneful track that although is pleasant enough, doesn’t really have any bite or raw edge to it, compared to other songs on the EP. Its by no means awful or even bad, but compared to the rest of the EP’s work, this is disappointing.

“Self Taught Learner” is a wonderfully moving track with lyrics such as “You don’t have to say I love you too, that’s not what I want to hear from you” and “Oh I want to die with you”, really capturing Lissy’s voice in all its beauty. A story of a relationship that seemingly has trailed away yet is still alight in at least one of the individual’s eyes; it follows on from the ideas of romance that Joy Division left behind. That love isn’t always the rose-tinted, straightforward, fairytale we all wish it could be. Yes it’s a pessimistic view, but that’s the beauty and charm of this song. Lissy Trullie’s songs aren’t aimed at the people who want to believe the incessant ramblings of manufactured bands about love being a constant masquerade of happy, ignorant bliss, they are aimed at the real people of this world.

Next Song on the agenda, Money”, may have a more upbeat, jovial beat than “Self Taught Learner” but don’t let those wonderfully smooth and buoyant guitar hooks fool you, the topic is seemingly just as woeful as before. “Don’t pretend you’re my friend” Lissy chants in her no-nonsense purrs, over the misleadingly chirpy tones and vivacious drum rasps, that so cunningly lure the listener into a false sense that the songs topic will be on a lighter note than of the song before. “Money” is a tale of how you cant buy friends or real ones anyway. So to all hangers on thinking of accosting young Miss Trullie and her band on their world tour, beware, they’re on to you.

“Forget About It” is next, a tale of how sometimes the person you think you love, isn’t actually the one for you. “If you want me naked, let me know, because I’m so tired of feeling low” just about sums up Lissy’s take on love in this track, just as well as the lyrics “Forget about it” do. She just can’t be arsed with it. However, what they can be bothered to do is make a seemingly depressing issue into an positive and optimistic fuck-you style track, with luscious vocals, catchy beats and harmonic riffs. Well your energy has to go somewhere.

So it comes to the last track, the cover of Hot Chip’s “Ready For The Floor”. Better than the original? Yes. For fans of Hot Chip, this may come as a blasphemous spear to the heart. Sorry, but its true. There’s more energy, personality and vocally Lissy’s androgynous tones fit perfectly with this dance floor filler, making it even more enjoyable the second time around. So hats off so Hot Chip for doing the legwork and making such a brilliant track, but I’m afraid Lissy Trullie has improved it.

They already live in one of the global hotspots for new music, New York City. They already have an up and coming tour with the Virgins, a band described as being one of the “hottest new bands to watch in 2009” and now they have a brand spanking new EP. A brand spanking new EP that is very good. Personality, character and talent flow through their music and Miss Trullie herself is devilishly gifted. The strawberry blonde locks, the effortlessly chic clothing and the model good looks, Lissy has it all. Lets just hope the public sees it this way too and they bring out an full length album in the very near future.

Original article first appeared on Altsounds website on 28/04/09