TRAAMS announce album "Personal Best" & Share new single "The Light At Night" (ft. Joe Casey)



Photo Credit: Steve Gullick

Selected press for TRAAMS: " It’s a prickly, grotty three minutes of squalling, antisocial brilliance." The Guardian "An urgent and ambitious trio... they have returned in a big way." Stereogum "British indie trio TRAAMS have been away for five years and so you know they had to have something exciting to bring them back. “The Greyhound” is nearly 10 minutes of krautrock-chugging designed to hypnotise. Welcome back!" The FADER "It’s got a monochromatic drive, vocals that range from bleak to spirited and a fuse that might blow at any second." PASTE "Leaning on the motorik thrust of krautrock before exploding definitions of post-rock, "The Greyhound" grapples with invention and the thrill of possibility. Remarkable." CLASH "It's time to celebrate, because TRAAMS are back." DIY

Today, TRAAMS return with the much anticipated announcement of their new album 'personal best', set for a July 22nd release via long-term label Fat Cat. PRE-ORDER HERE The news is accompanied by a new single titled 'The Light At Night', which features Joe Casey of Protomartyr, and features a new video co-directed by Charlotte Gosch & Lee Kiernan of IDLES, a band - among several who have risen to prominence in recent years - who have long been admirers of the TRAAMS sound. "personal best" marks the band's first full-length album since 2015's critically-acclaimed 'Modern Dancing', and comes hot on the heels of their recent highly acclaimed single 'Sleeper', which featured guest vocals from Soffie Viemose of Bella Union's Danish five-piece Lowly. The new single "The Light At Night" is another high quality cut from the band and proffers a biting look into their musical evolution on the new album. Propulsive rhythms meet angular, droning guitars, cyclical synth lines and incisive, almost shamanic, vocals from Joe Casey, which build into him repeatedly spitting “kill the body then the head dies,” with an intensity that is his and his alone. The stark video mirrors the trajectory and feel of the song showing a priest erupting from solemn sermon into uncontrollable dancing, whilst the congregation (including the band and a few special guests) look on. WATCH THE NEW VIDEO HERE:

Speaking on the new single frontman Stuart Hopkins said, “On The Light At Night, we were very lucky to get to work with Joe Casey of Protomartyr. It goes without saying that we’re all massive fans of his band, we were lucky enough to tour together a few years ago and became friends. After trying and failing to lay down a verse I was happy with I tried my luck and messaged Joe. Like a true pro he had the takes recorded and back to us in a flash, he loves a deadline apparently.” Protomartyr's Joe Casey also commented on the single saying, “Last year, like many people, I was doing absolutely nothing and desperately wanted to do anything. Luckily for me, that anything arrived in the form of a TRAAMS tune. Asking Stu for a little guidance after an initial “do whatever you want” he explicated on the songs origins and suggested I “rant like a televangelist”. Stu must be a keen student of my output. Anyway, I trundled out to Ypsilanti to Derek Stanton’s new home studio and dutifully laid down some primo ranting and yawps. What am I going on about on this one? Beats me. And I wrote it! I’m just happy to be using my (shockingly adenoidal) voice again after such a long hiatus and being a small part of whatever TRAAMS have cooking up.” Alongside the album and single announcement the band have also shared details of a new run of EU / UK live dates for Oct / Nov 2022. The tour follows the band's upcoming dates with Protomartyr, with full dates as follows: APR 14 – Portsmouth, The Loft 15 – Prince Albert, Brighton + 16 – Islington Assembly Hall, London + 17 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds + 29 – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge + 30 – Stag & Dagger, Edinburgh MAY 1 – Stag & Dagger, Glasgow JUL 10 - Bruges, BE, Cactus Fesitval OCT 12 - Brighton, Patterns* 13 - London, The Garage* 14 - Bristol, Strange Brew* 15 - Birmingham, Future Days* 27 - Groningen, NL, Vera 28 - Deventer, NL, Burgerweeshuis 29 - Amsterdam, NL, London Calling NOV 11 - Manchester, YES (Basement)* 12 - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club* + supporting Protomartyr * support from Public Body Tickets are available HERE

'personal best', the third album from Chichester’s TRAAMS and their first in seven years, represents a band rebuilt from the ground up. After half a decade apart, all it took was a global pandemic to reaffirm their intense urge to create music together, and the limitations the situation brought with it ended up revolutionising their sound.

Though the band never officially broke up after the release of nine-minute behemoth ‘A House On Fire’ and the subsequent tour at the end of 2017, a break made sense to all three members. “I couldn’t really write, and I didn’t have the motivation to do anything musical. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pick up a guitar for 2 years,” vocalist and guitarist Stuart Hopkins reflects. “I was waiting for that feeling to come back.” In the intervening years, the band went their separate ways. Padley making a record with his new project Social Haul, and Adam learning new instruments and buying up synthesisers. Eventually in 2019, Stu began tinkering away on two leftover TRAAMS songs, the ten-minute krautrock epic ‘The Greyhound’ and the fidgety ‘Intercontinental Radio Waves’, which were then released in 2020. “They had been left as instrumental demos with no vocal takes, and to be honest they were beginning to drive me a little mad,” Stu recalls. “I needed them finished and out of my head.”

At the tail end of 2019 the urge to reconnect struck the band, and they headed to Brighton for some initial sessions in a similar way to previous records – guitar, bass, drums, vocals. This continued until the first lockdown happened. After having this initial momentum scuppered, work on ‘personal best’ began again in earnest in summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions eased. The trio were allowed to meet up in a studio and rehearsal space cobbled together in Stu’s workplace in Chichester. Due to flats in close proximity and only being able to play and record at night, the band were forced to write music at a hushed volume. “We had to re-learn how to play together,” the frontman says. “It was really quiet and considered, whereas before it’s always been obnoxiously loud. All the things we’d usually relied upon – bass and drums locking in, guitar feedback, shouted words – were no longer applicable in this new way of writing. After our initial reservations, it was incredibly inspiring and freeing.”

As a result, ‘Dry’ and ‘Comedown’ – the two songs that bookend the new album, written in those early Brighton sessions – are the only two to feature live drums, a previous staple of TRAAMS’ sound. “There was an element of me not wanting to play drums as much anyway, but lockdown made it happen as we just couldn’t get to a drum kit,” Adam Stock remembers. For a while, the idea was to write within the restraints they were set initially, before imagining full band sessions to flesh out the sound in a more traditional way later down the line.

In the end, this new way of working proved revolutionary for the band. With Adam on guitar and drum machines, and Stu experimenting with softer vocal tones, a new sound emerged for the trio, one that defines their third album. “I like the fact that it touches on old ideas and new ideas, created in this weird middle period of our lives when we were locked down and didn’t know when we’d get on stage again,” bassist Leigh Padley says. “We focused more on the writing than we had done before.” Stu adds: “Lockdown heightened how much we realised we needed to do this, after so many years inactive. We realised that TRAAMS was something we all really needed.”

By stepping away from their usual instruments and working in an untraditional way, TRAAMS have made their most interconnected album yet. Opener ‘Sirens’, a gorgeous and glacial electronic intro, serves as the first pointer of their transformation, while ‘Breathe’ has the scale and scope of some of their biggest songs but in a more controlled manner, building steadily across its nine minutes. ‘Hallie’ and ‘Dry’ provide the most familiar sounds to the TRAAMS of the past, but the idea of progression and forward motion is everywhere on the album. In delegating some of his lyric writing duties to Padley, Stu also reconnected with a previously waning enthusiasm for storytelling. “He gave me loads of stuff and all this inspiration just ran from it,” he says. “I knew what the songs were about but I didn’t have the correct words for them. I don’t know if I was just reading into what Padley was writing and taking what I wanted to get from it, like reading your horoscope, but they all made sense with what I had in my mind.” Another defining feature for the album is its musical guests. Liza Violet of Menace Beach appears on ‘Breathe’, her vocals intertwining with Stu’s, and surging closer ‘Comedown’, while lead single ‘Sleeper’ – a gorgeously restrained, catchy track which swaps brute for beauty – features a verse from Soffie Viemose of Danish band Lowly, former tourmates of TRAAMS. Joe Casey, the idiosyncratic frontman of past and future TRAAMS tourmates Protomartyr also makes an appearance on the album’s blistering centerpiece, ‘The Light At Night’. “I had this part where I was trying to sound like a preacher, or someone with unequivocal authority, delivering this ranting speech,” Stu says of his idea for the song, “and as much as I tried to get a good version of me doing it, it just wasn’t working. It just sounded like I was trying to be Joe.” What better conclusion, then, than to get the man himself involved? A speculative Instagram message followed, ending up in Casey writing a brilliantly vivid, chaotic verse to send the track towards oblivion. The title of ‘personal best’ also serves as emblematic of the overarching development of TRAAMS through the creation of their third album. “A lot of this album is about recognising yourself,” Stu says. “This record is about the little changes we make, and the milestones we achieve in that process,” he adds, reflecting on a seven year period where his band drifted apart before reconnecting and finding an entirely new way of working, a change that has resulted in their most beautiful and fully-formed album yet. “It’s not about big declarations of love or huge outpourings of grief,” he says. “It’s about the little personal realisations and victories that people have throughout their lives. Some of them are massive, some of them can be hard, and some are small and beautiful, but they all matter.”

Personal - 1. belonging to or affecting a particular person rather than anyone else. 2. of or concerning one's private life, relationships, and emotions rather than one's career or public life.

Best - 1. of the most excellent or desirable type or quality. 2. to the highest degree; most (used with verbs suggesting a desirable action or state or a successful outcome). 3. that which is the most excellent, outstanding, or desirable 4. outwit or get the better of (someone). 'personal best' is out 22nd July via Fat Cat Records Pre-Order HERE

TRAAMS personal best Out 22nd July via Fat Cat Records 1. Sirens 2. Dry 3. Breathe feat. Softlizard 4. The Light At Night feat. Joe Casey 5. Sleeper feat. Soffie Viemose 6. Shields 7. Hallie 8. Comedown feat. Softlizard


Stu Hopkins — vocals, guitar Leigh Padley — bass, vocals Adam Stock — drums, synths Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Fat Cat Records