Elise Wunder
Gig Seeker Pro

Elise Wunder

Fort Collins, CO | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Fort Collins, CO | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Elise Wunder"

by Cici Sharstrom

With a sultry voice that digs its roots into the soul, Elise Wunder is emerging as one of Northern Colorado’s most promising new artists. Her style is something familiar, timeless, and yet entirely her own. A blend of pop/Americana/roots styles, Wunder combines the honest down-to-earth sound of velvet vocals with perfected guitar strums that remind us why we need music.

A self-taught vocalist, Wunder has always been singing. She learned guitar at 15 and began performing on stages at 19. She pursued her vocal studies at both the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State. Enraptured especially with the UNC choir, Wunder studied for a few years before deciding to pursue her own independent musical career by joining local bands, including her own project Das Wunderband.

As an ever-evolving artist, Wunder is finally embracing a solo career.

“As an independent artist, I feel I can be unique and genuine,” says Wunder. “I feel like now I can really challenge the audience and reach into its soul.”

Wunder has a charismatic, enrapturing presence both in person and on-stage. She is nothing short of herself, and performs as honestly as the music itself. A down-to-earth girl with an ankle tambourine, guitar, flowing skirt and a Stevie Nick’s-esque top hat, Wunder is a joy to experience. She has written many of her own songs, but also does fantastic covers of classics, including Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Tom Waits, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Jethro Tull and even Dolly Parton.

She is an engaging and humorous personality, creating a familiarity with her audience that goes beyond just her performance. She creates an environment of honest, human interaction, and is easily one of the most accessible artists performing today. Her smoky, soulful rendition of Parton’s “Jolene” creates a moving experience relieved afterwards by her jokingly stating, “I wrote that.”

Wunder is currently immersed in the self-production of her first album In The Darkness of My Light, a title that pays homage to Bob Dylan.

“I have a lot of people contributing to this album,” she states excitedly. “It’s going to be something new and challenging.”

Wunder plays weekly around different Fort Collins venues, and the best part is it’s usually free. She is at Tap & Handle quite regularly, including every third Tuesday of the month. She plays Elliot’s Martini Bar every second Thursday, and also frequents The Colorado Room, Town Pump, and Equinox Brewing. Wunder is the perfect hometown girl for a perfect hometown crowd.

“I think I appeal to a wide age group,” states Wunder. “My voice is timeless, and I think FoCoians are receptive to that. I have a lot of encouragement as an artist here.”

More information on Wunder, including song samples and venue dates can be found on her website, www.elisewundermusic.com, her facebook artist’s page, or at ReverbNation. - Scene Magazine

"Scene Magazine’s FRESH TALENT SHOWCASE raises $2000 for Charity"

Talent Showcase winner Elise Wunder has enjoyed increasing publicity in the last few months, and for a good reason. Wunder is a soulful, smoky presence that completely enraptures the audience; it’s just her and the guitar, and when a string broke during her opening performance, Wunder kept the crowd interested with a capella. Her vocal range is outstanding, and proves that even without the guitar, Wunder is a true musician.

As for the Showcase experience, Wunder says she loved the experience of performing with so many talents and making so many connections.

“It’s feels good to receive recognition,” says Wunder. “(It) affirms that my hard work and persistence will pay off.”

Wunder has been playing free shows all around Fort Collins, and is currently working on her first album In the Darkness of My Light. The album is anticipated to come out in January, but Wunder does not want to rush her art. She likens the process of self-producing this project to the process of music, maintaining that it mustn’t be rushed, but also mustn’t be too lackadaisical.

“Much like the tension in my guitar strings– too tight and they’ll break on me, too loose and they won’t sound too pretty.”

The album is unique in that it includes talents from many different individuals. A collaborative FoCo-ian endeavor, it should be quite a hit. Wunder is grateful to the help of her producer Wolf van Elfmand (Von Stomper), Dawn Duncan of Yellowbright Inc., her fellow Showcase musicians, and numerous other musicians that listen to and inspire her, both in the local community and spread out elsewhere.

As for the future of her “Wunderful” music, she states, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.” - Scene Magazine

"Elise Wunder: An Artist Connected From the Heart"

December 30, 2015

by Dawn Duncan

On an ice cold December day, we did our cover shoot with Elise Wunder just a day after her treacherous drive back to Colorado from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island off the coast of Washington, which left her stranded in Rock Springs, WY, for two nights until the roads re-opened. She had departed in mid-October for a writing sabbatical and a mission to heal her damaged vocal cords. She stayed on the island in a private home donated by a generous Portland couple and hunkered down to write, play guitar, and find a new sense of self, one that would fuel her into the next phase of artistry, but also as a person shifting into their true being.

We drove an hour up the Poudre Canyon to the Kinikinik Store, a quaint haven of little cabins, nestled next to an expansive meadow and offering one of those Colorado backdrops that even state natives still find takes their breath away. Clad in a velvet jumpsuit and her signature bohemian style of vintage coats and feather-bedecked hats, handmade jewelry, and lace up boots, Elise Wunder rode along patiently as I navigated the canyon over icy roads and against whipping winds.

She spoke of her two months on the island spent in relative isolation, less the occasional visit from friends and family, including the pleasure of entertaining guests over Thanksgiving. These little breaks from being alone were salvation from going too far down the rabbit hole in terms of getting inside her own head, and offered peace and calm from the writing and instrument playing process.

During her time on the island, Elise worked with renowned vocal coach, Ron Browning, who resides in Nashville and whom she met at Song School this summer in Lyons, CO, and who is the coach to such greats as Carrie Underwood, Allison Krauss, and the Judd sisters, to name a few. Working in Skype sessions with Browning, she learned to retrain her speaking and singing voices and evolve into a stronger vocalist.

Elise elaborated on what exactly happened as the result of her time away from Colorado. “I had a major breakthrough on guitar. I was able to really focus. In a way, I needed to get over some of my own self-doubt and not just play, but to start to feel like I am really doing something special with my guitar.” Additionally, she commented on the vocal evolution. “There’s always so much more to learn when it comes to training my voice, but now it feels like a different entity; learning how to speak and sing differently made me realize that this issue with nodes (vocal cord nodules) was really the best thing to happen to me. This ended up offering major growth spiritually, mentally, and also musically for me.”

Elise commented that now, instead of singing “at someone,” she feels she is more conversational when singing. “It’s the key to my vocal health, but also the magical way I can connect with the people who are listening to me.” She describes her journey as humbling, discouraging, awakening, and enlightening, all in the same breath. “I had to overcome a lot. I had to stop dead in my tracks and take time out, which isn’t easy when you’re a very active, driven performer. But, I think now, people can expect a more intimate, connected experience when they see me play live. My interaction with fans will be much more open hearted.”

One primary source of inspiration for Elise has been “The Art of Asking,” written by musician and iconic persona, Amanda Palmer. “In reading this book, I learned that the “alter persona,” that “stage person,” still needs to connect through the heart. I used to think of things like social media as a chore, now I see this as a tool to connect with people who are interested in me and my music; a simple and pure connection.”

Off to write more songs and kick off her performance schedule again, most notably with a show on February 6 at Avo’s with special guests, Lunde Station, Elise is ready to rock our world once again. And this time around, it’s going to be even more epic as she not only found ways to strengthen her voice and guitar playing, she found herself, her inner soul, on that island and we can only imagine what magic that will bring. Check out Facebook.com/elisewunder and elisewundermusic.co - Scene Magazine

"Catching Up with Elise Wunder"

For those of you that follow the Americana music scene in Fort Collins, you may have noticed an absence lately of one of the best local voices, Elise Wunder. After learning that Wunder was struggling with nodules on her vocal cords, she had to take drastic measures to ensure that she can continue her career as a musician for the rest of her life. We caught up with her to discuss her vocal break, the healing process, and her recent return to the stage.

Entertaining Fort Collins: Explain what was going on with your vocal cords.

Elise Wunder: I had started noticing the longevity and range of my voice was being compromised. I was doing music full time, performing long sets three to five times per week. So, performing a lot on top of using poor technique, I was overworking my vocal cords. Nodules are essentially callouses that develop from straining too hard on your cords. They are just two delicate little guys, and the callouses prevent them from closing all the way and therefore, impedes the process of producing a full and healthy sound. I was fortunate enough to not need surgery. Being the least invasive as possible is always the best option. In order to heal, I needed to rest my voice, take speech therapy — essentially relearning how to speak — and study with highly esteemed vocal coach Ron Browning out of Nashville.

EFC: How long did you need to take time off from music? What was that like?

EW: I ended up taking about 19 weeks off total from performing. During this time I was fortunate enough to go on a sabbatical in San Juan Islands, WA. Here, I was able to achieve solitude on a majestic island. I went on this journey to confront myself of sorts. I was swimming in murky water. I needed some clarity. I needed centering. It has been a very personal journey. I was in a place that I thought was solid. I thought I had come into my voice. And to find out that, in fact, I need to take a break from performing and relearn how to use my voice, felt quite unstable. Who I thought I was, and worked hard to build myself into being, I had to change. Essentially, I was flipped upside down onto my head and turned inside out. It was humbling. The lessons that I’ve learned through this have been elemental.

EFC: Was it hard to not sing and perform for so long?

EW: Yes! I love to sing. I love to perform. It was, however, a much needed break that I am ultimately very thankful for. I would not have given it to myself had I not been forced to stop.

EFC: How are you now that you’ve healed?

EW: I’m good! Not out of the woods yet. Now is where the rubber meets the road. It takes constant practice and awareness. I am finding I really need to shape my whole life around my vocal cords. I must sing for the rest of my life. My heart has to, or else it would die.

EFC: Has this issue changed the way your singing voice sounds at all?

EW: Absolutely. The first thing Ron (vocal coach) ever said to me was “you have a big box of crayons with all these beautiful colors, and you are using them all at once.” I studied with Berkley proffessor Pat Pattison who told me essentially that my voice was so beautiful that it was distracting from what the song was actually trying to say. I have learned a ton about song servitude, realizing that even my singing could get in the way of the story. If rhythm is the heartbeat, story is the blood pumping through the life. We build our lives around stories. We change the world through stories. Learn that and serve that.

I had to realize that what I thought was my voice was really just me finding out how to blend all of my hero’s voices together really well. I still wasn’t settling into my own voice. I had all these layers I put on my voice. I had to strip my voice, along with my ego, down to its bare nakedness. I thought I knew what vulnerable was, and I found I really didn’t at all.

Now, it’s all about using the colors very intentionally, for a special moment, and then put it back in the box. As much as I hate to admit, I’m not sure I’ve come into the fullness of my real voice. It is a journey, a process. Learning and experiencing. It is all tied together. From creative writing and the song itself, to audience, performing, living and loving.

EFC: What are your music plans for the near future?

EW: I will be recording a single this month, to be released within the next few months. The single may accidentally turn into a four to five song EP. I am in the process of revamping my business model. I have a lot of big decisions to make for myself, so really deciding what I want so that I can figure out a rough estimate of how to get there. I have grown to understand more and more the magic medicine of music. I want to help the world, heal the planet.

EFC: What shows do you have coming up in Fort Collins?

EW: Avogadro’s Number Feb. 6 and Sonny Lubick’s Steakhouse Feb. 26.

EFC: What advice would you give other musicians to avoid having vocal cord health issues?

EW: Love yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. Accept when life challenges you, be open to change and learning.

ALLISON LECAIN • FEBRUARY 2, 2016 • INTERVIEW, MUSIC - Entertaining Fort Collins


Desert Lonely, EP - will be released October 6, 2017

In The Darkness Of My Light, LP - Relased May 2015



She does it with a voice of oak and leather; a tone that’s soft and comforting but with an unmistakably solid foundation. Her style is heavy in a way that does not suggest world weariness so much as it does wisdom and an old soul.

Her voice will take you by surprise, especially when she sets it loose at an unexpected moment and you realize the power that she has been holding back. It’s a cannon and a paintbrush, at once. But it’s not her voice alone that sets her apart. As she follows a tune you’ve known for many years with another song, you find yourself wondering where you’ve heard it. You wait for the lyrics, sure that you’ll be able to place it. No, you just can’t put your finger on it. It’s not this artist, nor that. And when it’s over, she tells you that it’s her own song. And yet, somehow it seemed to already be a part of you.

It’s her song writing (somehow wistful, promising and familiar, and completely new) that is quietly staggering. Her lyrics, written in a stream of consciousness style that leaves wide space for personal interpretation, are nonetheless clearly autobiographical. Wunder seems to be baring her soul, both the strong parts and the weak, despite her best efforts to protect herself from our prying ears. She can’t help but bleed when she sings, and the vulnerability of her art drives into our hearts with the force of a hammer.

The most subtle aspect of Elise Wunder’s music is the thin line of darkness that runs through the center of it all. There is a lean towards the abyss, a nod to the void. Maybe it’s a curiosity about the dark alleys, the unlit streets, and the things that you can only find there when you go looking for them yourself. Whatever it is, it’s easy to overlook in her songs, comes naturally to the singer, and is the final ingredient necessary in creating truly soulful music.

Band Members