Thomas Truax unleashes his ingenious on All That Heaven Allows

All That Heaven AllowsThe New Weird isn't exactly new anymore. In fact, the term is more than a decade old and pertinent to Thomas Truax's All That Heaven Allows more so many reasons.

That's always the fate of artistic movements that surf the zeitgeist. They soon stop being the radical young upstarts and settle into being a known quantity. (Cyberpunk is a particularly tragic example of this. The fatal mistake the cyberpunks made was that they never recognised that their theory of obsolescence applied to them as much as anyone else. The Brave New Future TM soon arrived and it was nothing like they expected).

But there's still a need for weird artists and weird music. So how do you tap into the sense of surrealism and experimentation that New Weird represented without feeling like you're paying homage to the past?

Thomas Truax aims to answer that question on the new album All That Heaven Allows.

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The term 'maverick' has become overused in the music industry. Any major label artist with a cheeky smile and a stupid hat apparently qualifies. But Truax is the real deal. As well as being a musician, Truax is an inventor, and he takes that experimental energy and puts it into his music as well.

The result is 10 songs of modern invention and mad fancy, with a surrealist touch. The subject matter ranges from hurricanes to flying machines. Truax explains the inspiration for the album further saying: "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 paralyzing. 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."

The result is nothing short of a marvel.

All That Heaven Allows is arguably more accessible than much of Truax's previous output and the space provided by gives his songwriting abilities the chance to shine through. And they're very impressive indeed. Despite the strong use of metaphor and surrealism, Truax is first and foremost a storyteller. And his songcraft is in full evidence on the album.

"Save Me" (a duet with pop noir artist Gemma Ray) is a definite highlight, with the collaboration seeing both artists bringing their A game to make a song both interesting and affecting in equal measure. "International Homeland Security" is another personal favourite, with Truax showing he's more than willing to play rock and roll and do so well.

All That Heaven Allows feels cohesive without ever feeling samey. It's an album that appeals on first impressions and just gets better and better each time you listen to it. It's an album of hidden depths and seams of preciousness.Yes, it's weird. But it's weird with a purpose and a focus. Those who like some surrealism mixed in with their Americana will find it very worthwhile indeed.

Release: 2nd February 2018, Psychoteddy Records
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