Say Psych: Track Review: TRAAMS – Intercontinental Radio Waves

In 2016, with two critically acclaimed albums already released through long-term label FatCat, TRAAMS put out a final – and wonderful – one-off single in ‘A House On Fire’, and then, a handful of touring shows aside: nothing. They didn’t break up, they didn’t announce their hiatus, but after several years as a band came to a head, they decided to put their focus elsewhere, on their families, on their home lives, and simply return to their instruments when they felt ready again and for the right reasons.

And in 2020, a torrid shit show of a year by anyone’s reckoning, they found themselves ready – in improbable circumstances – to do so. The 10 minute ‘A House On Fire’ was followed up by their first material since in the similarly expansive ‘The Greyhound’, which clocked in at nearly 9 minutes this time. A propulsive, three-part thriller of a song, featuring Lewis Evans of Black Country, New Road on sax, it saw TRAAMS’ return heralded enthusiastically by both press and radio internationally. Landing as it did in a completely different landscape, socially and musically, ‘The Greyhound’ was rightly welcomed with open arms.

TRAAMS sound has always been part motorik drumbeats, part discordant guitars, pop melodies and hypnotic bass lines. All are present in a collection of three new tracks being released before the end of the year, all recorded by Theo Verney in Brighton. Collaborating with friends and new instrumentation, each track is different from the last, but all sound like the inimitable TRAAMS.

Today they return with the second of these in the form of ‘Intercontinental Radio Waves’, clocking in at a more digestible 3 minutes this time and showcasing the off-kilter pop smarts ever present in their writing. Accompanied, again, by a suitably warped visualiser directed by Stewart Armstrong, who said the following about the inspiration behind the video; “Inspired by one of my favourite books, ‘The Last Days of New Paris’ by China Miéville, in which manifestations of surrealist artworks and texts stalk the streets of Paris in 1950’s occupied France, the video is an animated paean to the ideas that art can defeat fascism and that a broken heart can be healed.”

The track features a steady motorik beat that forms the heart of proceedings, with an equally steady vocal rhythm that is interspersed with different styles of guitar that liven things up, fans will jump on this and new listeners will come flocking.

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