By Nicole Hanratty
Posted April 3, 2013
Digging through SoundCloud one day aimlessly searching for something different to add to my playlist, I discovered a sound that was so pure and happy I just had to learn more about the band.
Trouvere is a Nashville duo made up of Shell Snyder and Greg LaFollette who are originally from Columbus and Kansas City respectively. The two are potentially the two most different alike people you will ever run across. Sound like an oxymoron? Possibly, but spend a bit of time with these two and you will understand.
Shell has a serious streak and describes Greg “as an even mix of being silly and serious. But when he’s had too much sugar or not enough sleep,” says Shell, “he is out of control.” While he was recently photographed running around on the street dressed up in a dog costume, Greg is known for the conservative cardigan sweaters he wears. Greg told me he loves to try and make Shell laugh for instance, he was pelvic thrusting–apparently his signature dance move–during the interview. For the most part Shell managed to ignore Greg’s antics and kept on answering my questions as if he is wasn’t trying to break her but on occasion he succeeded. On the flip side, while Greg was answering my questions Shell would interject something that inadvertently made Greg laugh like, “I know I’m a little late on this, but I’m really liking The Lumineers.”
Their folk pop music is happy by design. Trouvere wants to contribute something that makes people smile which is exactly the response their “La La Love” song evokes. The song was recently included in 10 Perfect Production Music Songs: “This is a short and sweet love song that has a playful happy tempo with an energetic beat. “La La Love” is perfect for a love montage scene. Lyrics: “I promised not to take this thing so seriously but I couldn’t help myself you’ve got me falling so deep. Now I’m in la la la la la la la la la la love.”
The two met when Shell was co-writing with a producer for which Greg worked. “My old band then did a record with said producer later that year and Greg worked on the record with us. We all worked really well together and a had a lot of fun. We became friends and now we’re even neighbors,” said Shell.
“Your Heart Is My Home” lyrics reflect that synergy, friendship and neighborly feeling: “Breathe in deep and keep on breathing in the sunshine…Got all I need right beside me, we’re having the time of our lives. …Your heart is my home.” Indeed, just talking to these two artists alive with optimism and potential is a breath of fresh sunshine. It is obvious during the interview that their mutual adoration for one another is genuine.
“What inspires your music?” I asked. “Sounds cheesy but love,” they tell me. “We decided early on that we wanted to write love songs–not that we want to confine ourselves to that–but it’s such a universal topic and there’s so many forms and ways to write it. So we write about the kind of love we know or see around us.”
“Don’t Kiss Me Goodnight” is perhaps their best song on the “La La Love” EP. It’s the song you want to throw on your playlist after hearing just the opening verse with it’s folk pop radio ready beat. The lyrics are poppy, fun and playful while taking on an apropos riddle like feeling leaving the listener to interpret what Trouvere is singing about: “One by one we form a line on the information superhighway…take and take let’s have some fun. …Building dreams on vacant lots, ready or not they’ll all fall down.”
We spent some time chatting about how the two came up with their band name–it was Shell’s idea which manifested in her music appreciation class. Greg tried to double down and make it Trouvere Trouvere. Greg’s wife concurred with Shell that just one Trouvere would do and the women out-voted the man.
The answers Trouvere gave to my next three questions proved that the two are the most different alike people I’d ever met. First, I asked Greg and Shell my signature question, “Which song title would you say best describes your personality?” Greg answered so fast one would have thought he knew the question was coming, (he didn’t). “‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson,” he told me and Shell laughed. Shell took some time to respond but when she did, she nailed it, “‘Beautiful Day’ by U2.” They were both in complete agreement with each other’s self-chosen personality title songs.
Next, I proceeded to ask them what the last album was which they downloaded or purchased. Shell said the last album she grabbed was by Christian Gospel band Pas Neos, while Greg added music to his playlist by alternative indie group Hem.
Finally, I ended with the most important question I pose to artists. “Is there a charity that is close to your heart or to which you donate your time?” Their answer reflects the duo’s synergy. “Both of us are big with the Big Brothers / Big Sisters program so that’s close to our heart, as well as organizations like World Vision, Compassion International and Heifer International that we give to.”
Trouvere’s next record “This is Our Song” is set to release May 7th with tour dates to be announced. You can help fund their album fundraising campaign via indiegogo.