Amy Winehouse did it. Adele, too. Rihanna dabbles. And now Elise LeGrow is threading this needle with new single “Evan,” similarly blending temporally disparate elements into a more powerful whole.
“Experimentation is the first step,” says LeGrow of her contemporary throwback vibe. “It did take time to get to where we’re at with ‘Evan.’ We played a lot with instrumentation—so you hear a Hammond organ and live horns alongside programmed drums.”
“It gives you that sense of nostalgia and familiarity while also feeling fresh,” she adds, “and that’s really what I'm going for on this album as a whole.”
But “Evan” also has a familiarity specific to LeGrow. It’s a tribute to her titular friend, shot and killed more than a decade ago, far too young and full of life. When she hits that line about OutKast’s The Love Below, she recalls 17-year-old Evan singing in the driver’s seat of his souped-up VW.
“This song was by far the hardest to write,” she says. “About five years ago, I was alone on a lake playing guitar, and started singing about Evan. It's been percolating for a really long time.”