It seems not so long ago that Twin Atlantic released their experimental electronic-rock album 'Power' at the start of 2020, but the band are already plotting the follow-up with 'Transparency' set to arrive this January.
As touring for 'Power' was shelved when the lockdowns began two months after the release of the album, Sam McTrusty wasted no time to begin work on Twin Atlantic's sixth album as he raided the band's studio and took his gear back to his apartment in Glasgow.
"I just took all the key pieces because I was right on it saying, 'nah man, this is gonna be like two years'. I was like fucking a prophet of doom to the rest of the band, and so I just immediately started writing like then next day," the singer explains.
The first glimpse of 'Transparency' has already dropped in the form of the suave and stylish groove of 'Bang on the Gong' with its Once Upon A Time In Hollywood-inspired video.
That more moody, nuanced approach in the lead single is likely to be a feature of the album as opposed to the usual punch delivered in Twin Atlantic choruses of old, but that's another casualty of the pandemic, as Sam details.
"I was living in our flat in Glasgow, so I couldn't really sing in my upper register because it's dead, dead loud, so a lot of the record is way, way lower. Some of it is even on a spoken level because the guy I was working with is eight hours behind me, so I'm working until 3-4 in the morning. There's no way I could do all the *screams* so we were backed into making more of a lo-fi sounding record."
It took six weeks from the start of the first lockdown to get the album finished, with Sam working remotely with producer Jacknife in order to make 'Transparency' become apparent. All the while, the singer's wife, an NHS nurse, was working on COVID wards as the first wave hit the UK.
That shared perspective is likely to play a big part in the album.
"I don't know whether it's self-indulgence or an ego thing, but growing up, I was always like 'I will write about what I know rather than some fantasy thing or try and make up a story'. It kind of became second nature to write about what was happening," Sam says, admitting the craziness at the start of the pandemic was a large source of inspiration for when writing this album.
And Twin Atlantic have remained cautious ever since. Speaking at the Download Pilot event, the singer revealed they had been together and rehearsed just once since cancelling their last show in Cardiff 18 months previous. Clearly seeing the test event as the deep end in which to return to live music, Sam considered that smaller shows may be the safest way to experience 'Transparency' but also the best setting for the stripped-down album.
"It's certainly going to be easier to tour," Sam smiles. "I'm not going to have to rip my voice every night!"
Taken from the October issue of Upset. Twin Atlantic's album 'Transparency' is out 22nd January.
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