Release Date: Apr 10, 2012
Record label: Downtown
Lissy Trullie's 2012 eponymous sophomore effort finds the singer moving away from the more lo-fi rock of her 2009 debut, Self-Taught Learner, and embracing a slicker, moodier sound. A kind of punk fashion wunderkind on her debut, Trullie, whose cool, deep voice and enigmatic persona once drew comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and Patti Smith, here brings to mind the theatrical rock of such artists as Nico with some of the dramatic muscle of '90s alternative icon PJ Harvey. Working with producers John Hill (Rihanna, Kings of Leon, M.
Lissy Trullie’s opening “Rules We Obey” is as promising as her name is a mouthful: hear her scale an ever-mounting wall of guitars, horns, and probably lichen to get over, wearied and proud. Remember The National’s “Fake Empire”? Just as awesome, “Rules” is an unfinished idea glimpsing mightiness to grasp it, if briefly. But the rest? A faceless debut; a din of the same guitars, horns and urbane 20-something tropes—and lichen—as “Rules,” but immobile and, sadly, ambitionless.
Glancing at her bio, you'd be forgiven for assuming Lissy Trullie would take herself too seriously. The 28 year-old singer, born Elizabeth McChesney, boasts elite art-school bona fides and has modeled for the likes of Elle and Vogue. After starting her recording career with a promising teaser of an EP (Self-Taught Learner) in 2009, Trullie's eponymous full-length debut has been fashionably late in arriving.
Lissy Trullie is a New York-based model-turned-musician. Although her background story creates expectations of more downtown New York cool in the “I am too cool to care” manner of the Strokes, her 2009 debut EP, Self Taught Learner, actually followed more closely in the footsteps of the Virgins (whose self-titled album came out in 2008), another collection of models trying their hand at music. The Virgins played an amalgamation of late ‘70s and early ‘80s styles popular in New York—disco, post-punk, synth-pop—with relatively little affectation.
One could maybe be forgiven for being suspicious of Lissy Trullie. The sylph-like New York-based former model will no doubt appeal to the sort of people who think the epitome of cool is a festival headlined by The Strokes with Jack Daniel's branding, though cast your prejudices aside. Nothing elicits cries of derision more than the phrase model-turned-singer (or model-turned-anything for that matter) probably from the sort of people who troll messageboards telling Samantha Brick she has a funny face.
Look up the dictionary definition of ‘cool’ and you might find Lissy Trullie staring straight back at cha. She’s so cool in fact, she makes Alexa Chung and her T4 chums look like University Challenge contestants. Of course, looking cool is useless if you don’t have the tunes to match, but thankfully this strawberry blonde New Yorker has set up (Top)shop with a whole drawer full of of them.