Tied together by the group’s beautiful harmonies that echo through each of its five tracks, Los Angeles-based folk trio Trousdale just released their new EP What Happiness Is today.
In preparation for the release of the five-song EP, Trousdale released four singles, and their song “Love,” the sole non-single, can be easily found online. Despite any mystery of what’s on the album, it’s fun to hear the songs run together throughout the EP.
A standout on the EP is the fourth-released single “Any Day Now,” released on Oct. 15. In it, Trousdale captures magic in a bottle that calls back to pop-rock hits of the early aughts, and while many of their songs have a more folk feel to them, “Any Day Now” feels almost like an indie song that you’d hear while browsing for clothes in a darkened Hollister.
While bringing the listener, or atleast myself, back to their youth it also captures a feeling of despair and angst that any youngster, or oldster, can also relate to but wrapped in the package of an instantly catchy chorus and beautiful repeating harmonies that evoke a certain joy that only a great pop song can bring. When you boil it down, isn’t that what a lot of great pop music is? Sadness cloaked in exuberance with a catchy chorus?
Don’t let “Any Day Now” set your expectations for what Trousdale sounds like, though, because “Always, Joni” is a completely different sonic experience. The beautifully haunting song features Trousdale’s signature harmonies in a much slower pace, with the group really embracing its folk influences. The song starts off slow, and while it never builds to any fast-paced heights, it gradually picks up, instrument by instrument to a crescendo, before it ends solely on the three-part harmonization that sets Trousdale apart from other bands of their ilk.
The band again changes up its sound on “Love,” in which they fully embrace being a pop group in a happy-go-lucky song about, what else, love. It’s so fun to be constantly surprised while listening to the group’s EP and never really knowing what will come next. The good vibes continue on “This Is It,” which answers the semi-question that the EP’s title asks. It’s a shame that this EP is being released in November, as these songs, especially “This Is It” are perfect for listening to in the summer, driving around with the windows down.
Throughout the five songs on “What Happiness Is,” the band effectively explores that question. Their songs capture the utter lows that come with being young and confused, while also remaining filled with an undeniable energy and excitement. While Trousdale effortlessly blended moods on the EP, they were also impressively able to blend genres as their songs are a folksy Americana look at life, shined up with a fun and exciting pop gloss. Trousdale’s true accomplishment on the EP is the seamless combination of genres and sounds that make them a little tricky to pin down entirely.
For a band that started their career with a highly-praised cover of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys, they’ve begun to forge their own clear path with these songs. They’re finding a beautiful way to blend folk and pop with their unique harmonies.
With the exception of groups that are hand-crafted by the likes of Simon Cowell or Diddy, it’s hard to think of many groups this early in their career that have their sound down this much and sound as put together as Trousdale does in these five songs. The group knows where they’re heading, and it’s exciting to imagine where they’ll go in the future.
Happiness Is is out now.