Analogue Music | Trousdale


By Matt Conner

No one asked for a global pandemic to descend on us all, but the members of Trousdale weren't going to waste the opportunity presented.

With tour dates cancelled and the future clouded over, Quinn D'Andrea, Lauren Jones, and Georgia Greene turned their attention and efforts to the things they could control. That meant learning new skills, challenging themselves as songwriters, and fighting to become the kind of artists they wanted to be on the other side of it all.

Thus, Trousdale is a different band than the last time you heard them.

That's not to say that the beautiful harmonies aren't there or that the melodic sensibilities have taken flight. Rather, the women in Trousdale have greater confidence and chemistry than ever before. The arrangements are more imaginative, and the group's mastery of some production in the downtime gives them creative control going forward.

It's quite possible Trousdale will refer back to this season as the years they established a proper foundation for serious growth. That's our bet for a trio you're going to hear a lot more about in the year to come.

Analogue: Let’s just start with the common ground of the pandemic. How has this time been for you all?

Quinn D’Andrea: As terrible as this has been for the world, it was a really interesting time for us to hunker down and work on our recorded music. We’ve been a band for seven years and we’ve been a live performance band for most of that. We’d tried to record our music many times, and nothing had quite fit the way we wanted. So we’d not released anything yet. Once we all had to stay home and we couldn’t be out there performing, we started to focus on recording our music.

'It’s ironic because we’re a harmony-based group but our opinions are not always in line. I think that’s part of what makes us so good."

Lauren had taken a lot of time to learn about production and stuff and really hone in on that craft. She’s been teaching us a lot through the whole process. So that’s when we started producing our own music which was a really big switch for us. We were partially pushed to that point, but I think it was really helpful.

We’re all so opinionated about our sound that we ended up getting the product we wanted. We’re telling the stories the way we wanted through the music. That’s been really cool for us to be able to be inside working for the past year and a half.

Analogue: Lauren, what made you grab the reins there?

Lauren Jones: I started working on a DAW (digital audio workstation) when I was in high school, so I’ve always known how to make a basic demo. I took more production classes at USC, which is where we all met. The year leading up to COVID and during, I started doing more production for other artists or my own solo project. It was always something I wanted to pursue more and that coincided with a whole world that had to stay inside. I was like, “Cool, I’ve got my computer and nothing to do, so there’s no time like the present.’ [Laughs]

Also around the same time, I started dating a very talented producer and engineer and he’s really helped me hone my production sound.

I think it honestly started with, ‘Well, we can’t meet with any producers right now, so let’s dip our toes in the water as a way to tide ourselves over until we can be in person again.’ It just happened throughout that process that we found it to be so fulfilling and so empowering to work on our own music. It clicked in a way that working with other producers hadn’t before. We’re all so opinionated about the sound, so having a full grip on the end product made everything work.

Analogue: So you definitely feel a sense of before and after with the pandemic?

Lauren: Definitely.

Quinn: Yeah, absolutely. In this past year, there was a shift that we all felt. It’s not like everything has changed night and day with our careers. We’re all still working other jobs to make money. We’re putting in as much as we can into the band without doing this full-time. So it’s as if we’ve made it. But there has been a shift in the energy and atmosphere with us where it’s like, ‘Okay, this is real. We’re really doing this and we’re going to keep doing this.’

Analogue: You’re talking about these sharp opinions within the group. Are you normally united on those things or is that contentious at times?

Georgia Greene: Yeah definitely not. It’s ironic because we’re a harmony-based group but our opinions are not always in line. I think that’s part of what makes us so good. We can’t just settle on what we’re doing. We challenge each other and that pushes us to grow as individuals and handle communication better but it also helps us compromise and not always get your way. I think we’re all pro compromisers at this point and that’s something I take pride in. It’s wonderful to listen to something and know that all three of us are in there.

Analogue: Does this stance change your perspective on what you’ve released in the past?

Quinn: What we’ve released in the past is the same thing in that we’re all there and all giving our opinion. I think it just excites us about what we’ll release in the future knowing that we’re continuing to grow, that our voices are getting stronger literally and metaphorically.

'What Happiness Is' EP
'What Happiness Is' EP

Analogue: I’d love to get some specifics on this. When you say you’re better as a group, what comes to mind as something you might have done before that this time around you’re doing differently?

Georgia: “Wouldn’t Come Back” is a song of ours that has done really, really and it’s a formula we’ve used a lot. We sing in unison in the verses and harmony in the chorus where I’m on top, Lauren’s in the middle, Quinn’s on the bottom, and then we have a huge ending. That really works for us and it has for a while and that song had a lot of success and we feel good about that.

But moving forward, we’re mixing up arrangements. I’m not always on top. We’ll sing the verses solo. We’ll have someone else sing the high note at the end or sometimes we won’t have one. We’re just trying to challenge what we know that works. We also want to allow each other to think differently and support each other. It can be scary to not know what will go over well, but we’re trying to take those risks.

Quinn: Another example would be our song “Love,” which is one of the oldest songs that we have. We wrote that as freshmen at USC, so that was seven years ago. We’ve always played it live. We’ve recorded it a few times and this is the first time we’ll actually be putting it out. We’ve co-produced that with a few different people and I think it shows the growth we’ve had as a band—the song as it is now versus previous versions.

Lauren: I think so much growth has happened with our communication and how we function as a unit behind the music. We started playing together when we were 18 and we’re all 25 now. There’s a lot of growing up that happens in between those ages and we’re all just very aware of ourselves individually. Being able to communicate those things when something does come up is so important.

VISIT: Trousdale