Though emerging from the same Nashville-based Americana-folk scene as The Civil Wars, Josh and Nicole, the duo that make up Elenowen, deliver a sonic glow all their own. Amidst haunting harmonies and elegiac lyrics, their songs flow with an undercurrent of yearning, surrender and unexpectedly sharp edges. Elenowen made their national television debut on the top-rated premiere season of NBC’s ‘The Voice’. But it’s the five tracks on their new EP that now mean the most to the couple and convey what’s most real to audiences.
Now the duo is on tour sharing their beautiful music with fans around the nation. We took the time to ask Josh and Nicole a few questions! Here’s what they had to say:
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you or at your show?
“A fan had put together an entire 3-ring binder full of printed off photos of us – official promo photos as well as personal ones from our personal Facebook pages. He wanted us to sign every photo. It was strange & creepy.”
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist?
“Before Elenowen was formed, I was playing a solo show & had Nicole join me as my only background singer. When the time came to introduce the band, I introduced everyone but her – just completely forgot. The crowd was pretty small and mainly made up of our friends, so they all gave me hell. It wasn’t funny that night, but Nicole brings it up every once in a while to give me a hard time…”
“It’s also pretty funny when we introduce ourselves as Josh & Nicole onstage, but people still come up to us afterwards saying, ‘Hey Ellen, go get Owen so we can take a pic with y’all!'”
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
“Bourbon is usually involved.”
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
“It’s all in the songs. We try to write as real & genuinely as we can so the music does most of the work. We also just try to stay loose & make sure everyone’s having a good time.”
How did you decide on your band name?
“Pretty much every name we thought of was already taken on MySpace at the time, so we decided to come up with something unique. Ellen is Josh’s mom’s middle name, & he got music from her side of the family. Owen is Nicole’s dad’s middle name, & she got music from his side of the family.”
What is the best way to write music?
“For us, the best way has been to start out with some type of chord progression, beat, hook, etc. & sing melodies over it. Once we land on a melody we both agree is worth chasing down, we’ll start putting lyrics to it. We try not to over think the lyrics, & tend to focus on how the song as a whole makes us feel. If whatever emotion we’re trying to convey is translated, then the song is a success in our minds.”
Make sure to check out Elenowen playing at Eddie’s Attic this Thursday, March 21st!