PureVolume premiered the TRAAMS live video for “Swimming Pool” off the band’s debut album Grin, which is out now on FatCat. The live video is part of the “FatCat Sessions” in which the label is capturing live performances from their bands in a new local Brighton studio. TRAAM Stu Hopkins says, “‘Swimming Pool’ is one of our favorite tracks and we rarely play it live, so it was great to do it as part of this session. We filmed it in a converted treehouse in Brighton. Bowlegs asked us to bring some stuff down to put up, so we nailed a rug to the wall and then hid some other stuff about the amps and kit. If you look carefully you can spot some posters, bric a brac and a Padley heirloom that we brought down.” TRAAMS will be performing at this year’s SXSW music festival and more dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Grin is the follow-up the recently released Ladders EP and was recorded throughout 2012 and 2013 with producers Rory Atwell and MJ from Hookworms, the aptly-titled Grin is eleven tracks of pure distorted joy. The album successfully captures the raw energy of TRAAMS’ frenzied and sweaty live performances, as witnessed supporting bands like Parquet Courts, Fildar, Hooded Fang, Dope Body and many others.
TRAAMS formed in summer 2011 in Chichester, West Sussex after meeting at a club night that vocalist and guitarist Stu Hopkins started as a reaction to the city’s limited nightlife. The only options previously available to him and his friends were “boring clubs and bars which only played boring club music.” At his club night Hopkins would mainly play records by Wire, New Order and Le Tigre, supplemented with mainstream pop and hip-hop. Similarly, there is a pop immediacy coexisting with an expansive, experimental element inside the music they make themselves. Incorporating the two sides are vital when writing a TRAAMS song, as Hopkins elaborates; “we really want to push both those areas as far as we can. We like seeing people dance and having fun but we also want to be noisy and aggressive. It’s fun trying to strike a balance and seeing how far we can push it.” The band claim Mclusky, Abe Vigoda, Pavement, Television, and Women as influences. Hopkins specifically cites Stephen Malkmus, Iggy Pop, and Tom Verlaine as songwriters he admires because they all make what he calls “skewed pop”, a term that fits TRAAMS’ sound snuggly.
The band’s debut full-length, Grin, is the sound of a band finding true solace in music as a driving force. Bassist Leigh Padley has noted that the three members of the band felt compelled towards music as the only means to escape the mundanity of their hometown; “We had to start a band.”he says, “It was all we had.” As such, the album is bristling and vital – a sonic escape. The band has both a both a pop immediacy and a more expansive, experimental element and incorporating the two sides is essential when writing a TRAAMS song. Hopkins elaborates, “We really want to push both those areas as far as we can. We like seeing people dance and having fun but we also want to be noisy and aggressive.”
That tenuous balance is what keeps TRAAMS’ music endlessly exciting and keeps us coming back so often to dig into each new song with anticipations high.
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