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NEWS: Toronto duo TRAITRS do a fantastic post-punk dance on new single ‘Oh, Ballerina’

TRAITRS
10 August 2021

TRAITRS – Photo Credit: Melina Crawford

If a painting could reflect sound, or if sound could paint its own canvas, the musical output by darkwave / post-punk duo TRAITRS would create a balanced ying-yang of light and dark with some rather fuzzy borders.

In their latest single, which releases this coming Friday via Berlin-based label Freakwave Records (and with distro via The Orchard), these music mavericks create dark sonic greatness, with an element of hope furtively embedded therein. Damn right, we recommend you listen to this music – and don’t stop with this single. Explore their dark and lush back catalog.

The coming full-length album from TRAITRS, titled ‘Horses In The Abattoir’, is previewed by this new ‘Oh, Ballerina’ and previous single ‘Magdalene’, along with a clever video for both.

Recorded by and produced with Josh Korody (F*cked Up, Japandroids, Dilly Dally, Beliefs, Nailbiter) at Candle Recording Studio, the new output was mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Prince, Linkin Park, Katy Perry).

Based in Toronto, TRAITRS was formed in 2015 by Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker. With a cinematic blend of post-punk, goth, alternative and post-rock, their emotive melodies, propulsive rhythms, angular guitars and dark cinematic electronics quickly led to the duo becoming one of the dark music scene’s fastest rising independent artists.

“I approached ‘Oh, Ballerina’ the way I imagined Placebo challenged songs like ‘Brick Shithouse’ or ‘The Bitter End’. Keeping it simple, minimal, but punchy and effective. That’s really what motivated the passion and drive here. Lyrically the track focuses on obsession with someone else to the point of murder, based on a true story I had come across online. I felt the tone of the story perfectly mirrored what’s happening in the track instrumentally, dynamically and vocally. Keep running away now because you’re scared,” says Shawn Tucker.

“I became obsessed with minimalist composer Phillip Glass. His music completely changed the way I thought about melodies and composition, so ‘Oh, Ballerina’ began as this minimal and abstract piano piece with some atmospheric textures and very little else. I listened to the demo late and mid-way through the improvised recording, it was like the song suddenly revealed itself to me. I suddenly heard the drums and bass in my head. I grabbed my laptop, quickly programmed some drums and we finished scripting it all the next day,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan.

The accompanying video, self-produced with direction and editing by Shawn Tucker, is a moody art-house horror film in the woods meets 80’s new wave music video.

“We filmed the video for “Oh, Ballerina” with a small crew in an abandoned ghost town in Ontario called Cooper’s Falls. With the help of Google satellite images and a bit of good fortune, we found the abandoned and decrepit house in the middle of a forest. We wanted a non-linear plot where by the end, it’s unclear what the fog represents, why we entered the house, if and when we left or whether or not we were there the whole time? Are these doppelgängers watching themselves entering and leaving the barn?“

Early demos, also recorded with Josh Korody, led to the duo releasing their debut cassette ‘Rites And Ritual’ with Pleasence Records in 2016.

Having gained traction in Europe and North America, TRAITRS released their critically acclaimed ‘Butcher’s Coin’ LP via Pleasence Records / Manic Depression Records / Alchera Visions in 2018.

Bolstered by lead single ‘Thin Flesh’, the duo embarked on several lengthy tours overseas, performing in over a dozen countries, including showcases at Wave Gothik Treffen, Castle Party, Extramuralhas, Nocturnal Culture Night, Wavefest, Canadian Music Week and Pop! Montreal.

With the preceding limited 10’’ vinyl ‘The Sick, Tired And Ill’, which practically sold-out before its actual release, TRAITRS were able to triple their Spotify monthly listeners to >33k. In addition, lead single ‘Magdalene’ spent 5 consecutive weeks at #1 on the German Alternative Charts (DAC).

As of August 13, ‘Oh, Ballerina’ will be available digitally everywhere, including Spotify and Apple Music. On November 19, the full-length ‘Horses In The Abattoir’ LP will be released on vinyl, CD and digitally. It can be ordered HERE

CREDITS
Written and performed by TRAiTRS
Shawn Tucker – Vocals, guitar, bass guitar and lyrics
Sean-Patrick Nolan – Synths, piano, sequencing and programming
Additional percussion by Josh Korody
Recorded at Candle Recording Studio in Toronto
Produced and mixed by Josh Korody and TRAITRS
Mastered by Pete Maher
Album cover design by Shawn Tucker, based on ‘Anna Pavlova In The Fokine/Saint-Saëns The Dying Swan. St. Petersburg – 1905’.
Video scenario and production by TRAITRS
Video directed and edited by Shawn Tucker

The two singles above preview the upcoming album, but let’s have a listen to their latest ‘The Sick, Tired & Ill’ EP, which was just released literally a few weeks ago

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