Blending dark alt-pop and futuristic goth, Toronto post-punkers TRAITRS (aka Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker) have released a melancholy new single, entitled“Oh, Ballerina”.The track had some interesting, and somewhat unexpected, origins – but its cinematic quality makes sense.
“I became obsessed with minimalist composer Phillip Glass,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan. “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.
“I approached Oh, Ballerina the way I imagined Placebo challenged songs like Brick Shithouse or The Bitter End,” adds Shawn Tucker. “Keeping it simple, minimal, but punchy and effective…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.”
The track was recorded by and produced with Josh Korody (F*cked Up, Japandroids) at Candle Recording Studio, with mastering by Pete Maher (U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Prince).
Accompanying the release is a gorgeously filmed and self-directed art house horror-style video. A wonderful mystery surrounds the clip, augmented with spooky fog in an unsettling dusky light.
“We filmed the video…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?“
Watch the unsettling video below:
Nolan and Tucker have developed a large international fan base the old-school way: producing good music, playing live constantly, and putting on the best show possible. The duo used the COVID-19 self-isolation downtime creatively to work diligently on new material, culminating in TRAITRS‘ new LP this autumn, Horses In The Abattoir (released via Berlin label Freakwave).
On the 19th of November, the album will be released on vinyl, CD, and digitally.
It can be pre-ordered and/or pre-saved here.