Pulling Shapes in the Dark: The Smooth Night Moves of Trailer Trash Tracys

14 Sep

I wasn’t going to nightclubs in the 1980s and my only points of reference are the tacky, neon-lit dance cave full of crimped side ponytails and leather-on-bare-chest action in The Terminator and the smoky hipster-punk haven guarded by the big burly bouncer that wouldn’t let Ducky in in Pretty In Pink, but I feel pretty confident in saying Trailer Trash Tracy could’ve easily booked shows at both of those (most likely fictional) places.

The London four-piece, whose name’s origin is a mystery–although it is purported to be borrowed from either a Soviet burlesque act in the 1920s or a death metal bar in Sweden–came together just as their other band was falling apart. The previous band, which featured lead vocalist Suzanne Aztoria and guitarist Jimmy Lee, felt too contrived for the two and they broke off to form Trailer Trash Tracys. Though their former project was pop/indie rock, Aztoria and Lee, now joined by drummer Dayo James and Adam Jaffrey on bass guitar, decided to do something different.

Their first two official singles, released exactly one year ago, are smooth lo-fi jams that bring to mind dark dance clubs, technicolor outerwear, and the kind of gritty romances that begin in club bathrooms and end in empty alleyways. There’s a certain danger to the music, a wariness in Aztoria’s voice as she harmonizes over fuzzed out guitar reverb and pounding drums.

“Candy Girl” is a shoegaze gem, reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain and the Cocteau Twins circa “Pink Orange Red” with its tidal waves of  melodious sound crashing over Aztoria’s delicate vocals while the more poppy, brooding “Wish You Were Red” burns with all the slow intensity of that pair of kohl-rimmed eyes looking over at you from across the bar at 2am. Azstoria sings with all the gentleness of a loving mother and all the strength of a warrior. There’s a soothing quality that makes you feel comfortable bifurcated with a fierceness that forces you to pay attention.

A full-length album is set for release this fall and I personally cannot wait for it. Trailer Trash Tracys are the musical, aural version of Drew Barrymore’s character Ivy in the 1992 film Poison Ivy: very smart, very sharp, hip, and mysterious. Dark and brooding, but in a way that makes you want to dive deeper and learn more.

Before you know it, you’re hooked.

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