Reinvention has always been a driving force in pop music culture. When you look at those artists that truly matter those constant will to adapt and change is visible in all those careers. From Bowie to Madonna, from New Order to Kraftwerk – those who are willing to get a new perspective and allow bravery to take the wheel are here to remain. So, every now and then it’s wise to break with yourself and free it from any expectations or weight. And that’s exactly what Evelinn Trouble does and somehow always did. After ten years, four albums and three EP’s the Swiss artist is once again opening a new chapter in her artistic life via her freshly released EP Hope Music. The new songs mark a turn towards more accessible pop music which will probably surprise you… well, unless you ask Mrs. Trouble herself. ‘I think Evelinn Trouble has always been about freeing the music from expectations,’ she explains to me. So far every album she made set foot in a new genre and she’s pretty sure that the next one will probably do it again. ‘I don’t like corsets, that’s why I’m trying to get rid of myself regularly,’ she adds.

Taking a closer look at the biography of Evelinn Trouble the headline ‘Girl that doesn’t fit in’ comes to your head. There’s this urban myth that she got fired from Sophie Hunger‘s backing band as the management was worried that she would steal the attention of the main protagonist. And there’s the tale that she jumped on the roof of a train wagon in Zurich, resulting in a blackout in major parts of the city and third-degree burns for the protagonist. Well, she’s a unique character, to say the least but for her ‘not fitting in’ isn’t the best way to phrase it. ‘From inside it feels more like ‘Girl that’s doing her thing’, she explains to me. Her previous releases range from psychedelic pop to spaghetti-western infected alternative rock anthems. There’s a certain cinematic approach to the songs of Mrs. Trouble, carried by her charismatic and expressive voice. But right now, it feels like Hope Music marks a more drastic turn than before. In many ways, last fall’s single Sunset Everytime felt like a transitional piece, an honest goodbye and a dedication to reach for new horizons.

‘There was a conscious moment where I decided I want to try and make uplifting, hopeful pop music,’ Evelinn Trouble explains the new approach on Hope Music. But that was easier said than done as she – in her own words – doesn’t know what pop music really is and that she isn’t exactly an optimistic thinker. So she needed to teach herself about the structures of pop and in positive thinking as she confirms: ‘It’s been a two year long process up to the recent release of the EP and I’m still in the learning curve on both!’

‘I’ve experimented so much in the past, evolution towards something more simple feels natural.’

‘Pop as a vehicle for change’

The new EP ‘Hope Music’

Hope Music is still pretty much an Evelinn Trouble record as its predecessors but it surprises with elements of gospel, R&B and electronic pop aspects, delivering something pure and uncompromising. It’s a burst of confident, designed to put the artist on the greater map, beyond Zurich. However the artist, who now relocated in Berlin, remains thankful for all the collaborations and friendships she found in the city. She’s now always receiving a warm welcome whenever she returns but also states: ‘I am not as immersed in it as I used to be in the beginning, I needed to draw a line in order to free and condense what Evelinn Trouble really is.’

And it appears that Evelinn Trouble can indeed be whatever the heck the young lady wants it to be. It is, however, defined by her presence and stage persona. ‘Being on stage is one the best things I know, connecting with people, celebrating the music,’ she confirms while adding: ‘I don’t think I had any role-models regarding performance but if I have one now it’s probably Iggy Pop, he really knows how to make magic happen with his energy exploding into the crowd.’

Besides energy Evelinn Trouble is also about attitude, something she might have in common with Mr. Pop. And that also includes to be unafraid of mixing pop and politics. ‘I go through phases where I think pop is the right vehicle for change and in those phases I write political music,’ she explains. Still, the whole combination sometimes feels like a trap for the artist as she explains:

‘It’s still entertainment, you’re not preparing a revolution and that fact can make those songs sound phoney or even cynical. I think what works is reflection, a song can reflect what is happening in the world today, but if it turns into some kind of preachy battle cry I’d rather not be the one who wrote it.’

It remains a thin line but if you check out her song WISH MMXXVII you’ll see what she mean. Evelinn Trouble wrote it after volunteering in Athens during the refugee crisis last year. See, that’s also the kind of person she can be. The future looks both unpredictable and ambitious for her. Maybe there’s going to be a follow-up EP called No Hope Music, maybe a full album. We’ll have to wait and see. Searching for an artistic identity is not a struggle for Evelinn Trouble, it’s part of the process and a crucial element of it. ‘It’s all process, this reinvention and destruction of myself is the whole point,’ she explains, ‘The struggle is the point, the turmoil creates real, gut-wrenching music.’ Fixed CI, marketing plans and simply ‘playing safe’ is obviously not a thing for the girl that jumped on that train long ago. ‘If it hurts it’s ´cause you’re getting deeper and that’s a good thing for your body of work’ is the final advice Evelinn Trouble can give to young artists. Her stubbornness can and should be a role model to all of us. Whatever the future holds ready for this young lady, I’m pretty sure she’ll find a fitting place in it. At least, for a brief moment before moving on again.

Hope Music is out now via Radicalis. Evelinn Trouble is also performing at Berlin’s Kantine am Berghain on May 16, 2018. Get your tickets right here.

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