Mysterious 20-something singer Lissy Trullie has just started her musical journey, and yet the media myth-making and labeling has already begun. Trullie fashions lean, sharp indie rock but already feels saddled with a frequent "punk" misnomer. "They always try and put me in a box," she says. "If I mention punk, they're like, 'She loves punk music; she's a punk,' which is not me at all. I don't consider myself or my music punk."
And don't compare her to that female-fronted Lower East Side act whose name begins with a B either. Online hype has made much of sexuality supposedly infusing her music, but Trullie disagrees with that notion too. "I don't really consider myself oozing some kind of sexuality. Other than I'm a girl playing a guitar, I'm not Debbie Harry or something."
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And in fact, Trullie remains largely unproven — she's got just one EP, the delicately swift Self-Taught Learner, to her credit. But, it has to be said, her startling looks have doubtless helped her blog trajectory. Her petite frame, angular facial features, gentle crest of red bangs, and usual stoic expression make for a pretty photogenic package, so it's no surprise that Trullie was once a model. (As recently as March 2008, Elle dressed her up for a spread of "romantic punk couture.")
But for someone with a beauty-industry background, she pulls no punches when it comes to addressing what she finds ugly. There was, for instance, that recent Spin article in which she declared she hated the sound of her own voice. "I actually was not kidding," she says. "I played in a lot of bands and wrote for other people and didn't sing for a long time. She finally made it to the mic through the encouragement of her peers, lots of practice, and a bit of moxie. Her comfort level is a different story today, and her coy, stark vocal stylings are really Trullie's strongest asset. "I have fun with it now," she says.
Lissy Trullie. With Anya Marina and the Virgins. 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $12. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.
Still, she says, battling her own inner editor is a constant struggle, especially when it comes to penning her cryptic lyrics. "I trash a lot. I write a lot. It's really like a compulsion," she says. And as far as the music itself, the hook rules all. "If I can't get the melody out of my head, that's a pretty decent sign that I should continue working on it."
With even this much unraveled, what can we say we really know about Lissy Trullie? Truth be told, not much. When she uses a jangly come-on like "Boy Boy" to "wonder, wonder / what you're really about," she might as well be singing about herself.