Name: Linnéa Racine aka Evelinn Trouble
Occupation: Singer, songwriter
Nationality: Swiss
Recent event: Evelinn Trouble is one of the artists performing at 2022's Reeperbahn Festival which takes place in Hamburg, Germany, September September 21st-24th. Get tickets here.
Recommendations: Kush K’s mini-album «Your Humming»; «Never Sorry» Documentary about Ai Wei Wei by Alison Klayman

If you enjoyed this interview with Evelinn Trouble and would like to find out more about her work, visit her official homepage. She is also on Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud.  

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

I come from a musical household. My mother is a jazz singer. I think I learned to sing my first standard around the age of 4. At 13, I formed my first band - an all-female grunge trio.

Ever since I’ve been writing songs. They’re a tool for me to make sense of the world.

When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?

If a song really hits me, I get goosebumps. When lyrics are really blunt and beautiful, I can be very moved and go into sad emojji mode.

I once made a playlist for a blog with the 10 saddest songs on earth. Enjoy.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

I experimented a lot in the beginning, I thought I was gonna reinvent the wheel, musically speaking. There was a lot of odd meters and interruptions in the music, little shock moments, surprises. This kind of writing was highly complicated and included me second-guessing my decisions all the time.

Now I don’t care about that so much anymore. I just want to write a song that fits my mood and I want to feel alright doing it.

I don’t want to think twice.

Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.

I don’t know how to answer that. I’m just here, observing my life and living it at the same time. Is that a sense of identity?

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

The songs are my self-expression, an anchoring in existence, first and foremost. Then, on top of that, there is an industry structure that constantly wants something else from me, from us, the artists.

I’m somewhere in between trying to manage the balance between my mental health and my career.

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

Definitely both!

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

I had a long phase where I worked in a duo with an MPC drumcomputer , a Juno, the sound was very abravise and industrial. On my latest album I have strings and a lot of saxophone, the sound is softer now.

Since five years I have a new favorite instrument: I play the baritone guitar. I love it, it fits my voice really well and is great for sketching out new songs.

But I’m sure there is a new phase with new sounds somewhere on the horizon.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.

There isn’t much routine, unfortunately.

There are a many cups of coffee and driving in a car bringing gear from A to B or standing somewhere, listening to someone talk with a beer in my hand. Organising some rehearsal, answering an email, wondering when I’ll have time to write music again. Stuff like that.

Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?

I once had a flow-experience with a song I recorded in Berlin. It’s called «Goodbye».

I recorded it in my studio in less than a day, didn’t change a thing about it since. That made me really happy, there was no second-guessing of anything. It also contains the simplest lyrics I’ve ever written, but they say it all.

Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?

I’ve always meandered between the two.

My debut was self-recorded, self-produced. Then I had a working band for several years, which I then I dissolved because it became too tiring to work with people, to translate my ideas into words. The last album «LONGING FEVER» was produced by me but I had wonderful guest musicians on it. Nowadays I prefer working out ideas alone, before I show them to collaborators, so there’s a lot of solitary hours in the studio.

But recently I tried something new and I’m working on new songs with someone very close to me, this opens up new possiblities. It’s like working alone but having someone to bounce off ideas from who is not trying to pull you away from yourself. Could be a new way for me, something for the future.

How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?

My songs are a tool to make sense of the world. So naturally, they will reflect on what is going on here. My songs can be an echo-chamber of the state of things and the world is in a lot of despair, obviously. It’s a a nightmare, living in this late-capitalism, if you ask me.

The role of music in the society we live in? A consumer good like everything else, at risk of losing its rebellious potential. Music of course has much more power than to be a consumer good but the way the structures are now, the way it’s consumed, is not very resourceful.

Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?

Music does this for me every time, if the lyrics are good.

I love Aldous Harding, what a lyricist! She has some great observations on life for you, a real treasurebox of timeless words!

How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?  

Sorry, I don’t know enough about science to answer that question.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

I don’t think making a cup coffee has much to do with writing a song and I’m very sorry if I’ve offended any baristas out there.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?

I have no answers for you. But I love the mystery of it. I can recommend psychedelics to enhance the deepness of the listening experience.