Canadian dark indie duo TRAITRS present their much-anticipated album ‘Horses In The Abattoir’, a collection of 11 dark and lush tracks released on November 19 via Germany-based Freakwave Records, part of the Schubert Music Europe group, with distribution by The Orchard.
The rising post-punk / darkwave stars also present the video for ‘Ghost and The Storm’, timely given the importance of mental health issues in our society, following up earlier singles ‘Mouth Poisons’, ‘Oh, Ballerina’ and ‘Magdalene’.
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.
“To me, this record is about passing time and aging; the frailty and impermanence of existence. How everything we know and love exists briefly before disappearing into nothing. This record covers a wide emotional spectrum from the beautiful to the horrific, overwhelming strength to heartbreaking vulnerability. We started writing ‘Horses In The Abattoir’ in Toronto during the summer of 2018 and continued writing the album on tour overseas. If there was any spare time between shows, we spent it writing in backstage areas, hotels and while crashing on the couches and floors of our closest friends. The album encapsulates both the promise and darkness that we experienced during this very exciting, but equally intense period of our lives,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan.
“Professionally, TRAITRS was on the rise and our shows were getting bigger and better, but personally both Shawn and I felt like we were crumbling under the weight of personal loss, depression and exhaustion. It was a life-changing time period, for better and for worse, and ‘Horses’ documents both the darkness and light that Shawn and I endured during this time. Lyrically and musically, this is the most personal and brutally honest we have ever been. Blemishes and all, this is who we are.”
This album was recorded with producer Josh Korody (F*cked Up, Japandroids, Dilly Dally, Beliefs, Nailbiter) at Candle Recording Studio and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Prince, Linkin Park, Katy Perry).
“The theme of the record pulls heavily from the title: taking something innocent and beautiful and ending its life for no reason. In retrospect, ‘Horses’ captures the darkest period of our entire lives and that hurt bleeds out all over the record. I can definitely say we are still the same band, but certainly not the same inside ourselves. Somehow ‘Horses’ became its own beast and solidified its own place in the world. At times, it seemed like all we had left was ‘Horses’ and the record felt much stronger and self-contained than us,” says Shawn Tucker.
“We stepped out of ourselves for a while, imploding, almost not finding our way back. It was a destructive time and I didn’t even realize what was happening until the storm had finally passed. Despite all this, we had written 17 songs, over a hundred fragments and were excited to start a new phase of our career with Freakwave Records. When I hear this record, it pulls things out of me that you might not want to feel or confront, but that’s what making art should be about. This record’s filled with anger, sadness, beauty, hurt, love, loss and beyond. I’m very proud of this record. It’s our best work to date, hands down, our post-depression record.”
Early demos, recorded with Josh Korody, led to TRAITRS’ 2016 debut cassette ‘Rites And Ritual’ with Pleasence Records. After gaining traction in Europe and North America, TRAITRS released their critically acclaimed ‘Butcher’s Coin’ LP in 2018. Bolstered by lead single ‘Thin Flesh’, the duo embarked on several lengthy tours overseas, performing in over a dozen countries with showcases at Wave Gothik Treffen, Castle Party, Extramuralhas, Nocturnal Culture Night, Wavefest, Canadian Music Week and Pop! Montreal.
Their relentless touring schedule and work ethic caught the attention of Thomas Thyssen and Eric Burton of Schubert Music Publishing and, in October 2020, they announced TRAITRS as the first signing to their brand-new record label Freakwave Records.
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).
On November 19, the full-length ‘Horses In The Abattoir’ LP will be released on vinyl and CD, as well as digitally on all the usual platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. It can be ordered at https://orcd.co/horsesintheabattoir
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