Photograph of Thomas Truax above courtesy of Paul Maps @ joyzine.org.
Fans of quirky one man bands and experimental music made with loop pedals, homemade instruments (esp ones with names such as Mother Superior and The Hornicator) and the occasional guitar should be prepared to give thanks – there’s a new Thomas Truax album in the offing! And we’ve got a first taster to share with you off it today, in the form of a video for lead track ‘Always Been A Dreamer (Blues)’.
Not only has Thomas got a new album, titled Trolls, Girls and Lullabies, in the offing but (you won’t be surprised to learn) he’s also got a series a live dates lined up too, full details of which you can find below. Thomas is one of those musicians who like to be on the road, normally totalling over 100 shows a year, so there’s a good chance you’ve seen him live before – but if not you’re implored to rectify that this spring!
Summing Thomas up in one sentence for people who aren’t familiar with his skewed genius the press release announcing the news says:
“As a figure in modern musical culture Thomas falls somewhere between the post blues surrealism of Tom Waits, the theatrics and story telling of artists like Jeffrey Lewis and Rufus Wainwright and the sonic experimentation of post punk/noise acts such as New York contemporaries Liars.”
Famous fans of (and collaborators with) Thomas include Jarvis Cocker, Duke Special, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls. The author Terry Pratchett is also a fan and a meeting with director David Lynch resulted in the highly acclaimed 2009 covers album Songs From The Films Of David Lynch.
Trolls, Girls and Lullabies is a specially commissioned soundtrack to the theatrical masterpiece Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen. The production has been incredibly successful thus far, so much so it persuaded Truax to axe plans to release the album he was already recording in favour of this soundtrack.
About Trolls, Girls and Lullabies, which is typically bonkers and trademark Truax, we’re told:
As well as a brand new self-made instrument, ‘The Saxogramophone’, ‘Trolls…’ features a typically eclectic array of source material from the music of Greig’s original orchestral score to Rolling Stones covers and original compositions. It’s as thrillingly diverse and lovingly crafted as any Truax opus and we could wax lyrical forever but who better to explain the work than its creator? See overleaf for a Q&A with Thomas on the work, its origins and creation as well as its message.
Turning to the play itself, here’s what Thomas has to say about it:
It may be an old play but the underlying story is familiar enough in this age of Facebook: a man running in circles bent on becoming wealthy and becoming a king of something (exactly what doesn’t even matter). Like a hamster in a wheel, searching for himself, his identity. Along the way you get blues, rock, surrealism, nightmares, trolls, love, beauty, death and other weirdness, all that stuff that songs are made of. The songs come from pretty basic emotions that the characters are experiencing, or are there to create an aural atmosphere. Most times we don’t have to know the story behind a song to get an impression of what it’s about. Like the intro track suggests, whether you like it or not, there may be a little Peer Gynt in all of us.
And so, with no further ado, check out the new Thomas Truax video:
Thomas Truax Live Dates April / May:
- 16 April, Wed – London, Ivy House: 40 Stuart Road Nunhead, London SE15 3BE £7 Adv
- 18 April, Fri – Oxford, Art Bar (formerly the Bullingdon ) Presented by Pindrop
- Supports: The August List and Huck 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1UE United Kingdom
- 25 April, Fri – Bristol, St. Georges A celebration of Coen Brothers film music featuring live sets by Emily Barker, Thomas Truax, Kirsty Mcgee, The Carrivick Sisters and more. Great George St (off Park St) Bristol, BS1 5RR
- 4th May, Sunday: Manchester (actually Salford) Sounds From The Other City 2014 Mayday Festival in unusual spaces, Chapel St, Salford, Lancashire M3 5BZ
- 5th May, Mon: Leeds: Live at Leeds Festival, Oporto, 31 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BT w Hey Sholay
- 7th May, Wed: Hull, The New Adelphi Club, 89 DeGrey St, East Yorkshire, HU5 2RU
- 8th May, Thurs: Preston HED at The Mad Ferret, 55 Fylde Road, Lancashire, PR1 2XQ
And for the following dates Thomas Truax will be on the same bill as Bob Log III:
- 22 April, Tues: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club 33 Queen’s Rd, LS6 1NY, United Kingdom
- 23 April, Wed: York, Fibbers, The Stonebow, York YO1 7NP, UK
- 26 April, Sat: Newcastle, The Cluny (w Bob Log III) 36 Lime St, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 2PQ
- 28 April, Mon, Stockton, The Georgian Theater: Green Dragon Yard, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, TS18 1AT.
- 29 April, Tues: Liverpool, Mello Mello w Bob Log III 40-42 Slater Street, L1 4BX Liverpool
- 30 April, Wed: Birmingham, Hare and Hounds Kings Heath (venue 2)106 High St Kings Heath B14 7JZ Birmingham, UK
- 1 May, Thurs: Guildford, The Boileroom: 13 Stokefields GU1 4LS Guildford, UK
- 2 May, Fri: London, The Lexington: 96-98 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9JB, United Kingdom