The highly original Thomas Truax is back with new album ‘All That Heaven Allows’ and a tour that checks in at Leeds early next month.
The New York anti-folk maverick, former MTV animator, inventor of his own musical instruments and acclaimed interpreter of David Lynch scores will be touring his ninth solo album and bringing it to the Brudenell Social Club on Sunday, February 4.
All written and performed while on the move, Thomas and his panoply of home-made musical inventions are back with 10 new tracks of his uniquely surreal Americana, littered with all Tim Burton-esque visions of flying machines, unfortunate spiders, ‘bad leaders’ and dreams.
Truax has been anything but settled in the past year. After five years based in Germany, he began 2017 in the US, but left again the day after Trump was sworn into office in January. He has rarely stopped to look back from thereon.
He got married in March (in Gibraltar) and relocated to the UK shortly thereafter, with a steady stream of tour dates and recording sessions always on his agenda. Along the way, he always kept an eye on the news, an ear to the ground, and a notebook in pocket.
The result of these travels is ‘All That Heaven Allows’ - 10 new tracks of surreal Americana and sonic adventure.
Giving insight into the ideology that informed his latest album, Truax reveals: “There are a lot of flying references in this album. In Freudian dream interpretation, you fly in your dreams when you feel pinned down or trapped in your waking life. A lot is happening in this modern world that is so despicable and overwhelming.
“Because of technology we can be spectators of all of it all at once and it may be more than we are capable of ingesting. Our fight-or-flight mechanisms are doing overtime and I see it in my friends and in myself that this can be psychologically paralysing.
“We need to dream and escape to maintain our sanity, but we also can’t ignore the very real problems that may be the death of us if we don’t do whatever we can to try to help solve them. The pursuit of balance between those fights and flights is an underlying theme with this album.”
While the new album was written against an ever changing backdrop, in terms of recording process there was always one constant: Truax himself.
Something of a one-man-band and loop-pedal virtuoso, as ever most of the instruments and vocals on ‘All That Heaven Allows’ were laid down by Thomas himself. However, always one for collaboration when the occasion arises, various tracks on the record are enlivened by a number of old friends and former collaborators. Drummer Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls, Nine Inch Nails, Violent Femmes), cellist Pete Harvey (Modern Stories/Withered Hand), Paul Wallfisch (Swans/Firewater) and James Smith (Post War Glamour Girls), all appear throughout the record to offer their invaluable contributions.
Truax also teams up with the singular Basildon-born/Berlin-based talent Gemma Ray for the heart-stopping duet ‘Save Me’. The lead single for the album, the track has already garnered national radio support from the likes of Radcliffe/Maconie and Gideon Coe on BBC 6Music.