The Dark Corner: Traitrs, Butcher’s Coin
For us metalheads who moonlight as goths and vice versa, The Dark Corner will attempt to shed light on new happenings in the world of new wave, post-punk, and all things goth-related. If this sounds right up your shadowy alley, light up a clove and prepare to get moody.
To complement this long, springless stretch of recent rainy days in New York, I spent several hours combing through new coldwave, goth, and post-punk releases looking for chilling and romantic sounds. My favorite of the recent batch of releases are Toronto duo Traitrs with their latest LP Butcher’s Coin. This album comes hot on the heels of their last releases, the full-length Rites and Ritual and the EP Speak in Tongues.
The quickness with which Traitrs have matured in their songwriting is pretty stunning. While the songs on earlier efforts are beautiful monuments to the spirit of post-punk, the echo in the production is deeper, more rounded and touching on Butcher’s Coin. The relaxation in approach is comforting and accessible while maintaining a masterful ice-cold timbre. This kind of leap forward reminds me a lot of the career trajectory of Drab Majesty, who seem to have blown up quite a bit since they went all-in on last year’s perfect The Demonstration. With this kind of quick progression, I don’t count on Traitrs lurking on the outskirts of popularity for long.
While sure to please post-punk purists, the songs on Butcher’s Coin have the innate touch of emotional turmoil missing in many modern attempts to recreate the magic of genre pioneers. While the obvious influences here include The Cure (especially in the vocals) and Sisters of Mercy, Butcher’s Coin refuses to play out like a walk through yesteryear. Without that empty nostalgia, the languor is relentless, making this the perfect album for leaning into a deeply gloomy mood.
Standout track “Thin Flesh” stirs the kind of reveries one might associate with a frenetic youthful mania when everything was beautiful but everything hurt. I can see myself smoking stolen cigarettes and writing sex-obsessed poetry in a marble notebook at 16 to this just as easily as I can imagine myself deep inside a modern dance-trance with it on repeat. The David Lynch and Suspiria-inspired video speaks volumes to the aesthetic tastes of contemporary goth culture and was debuted on Cvlt Nation a few months back.
Pick up the full album on Bandcamp and stream it below. No American dates are lined up as of right now, but if you’re elsewhere in the world you’ll find a list of upcoming shows under the embed.
July 6 Leipzig, Germany
July 7 Owl ’N’ Bats Festival
July 13 Jena, Germany
July 15 Castle Party Bolkow,Poland
July 20 Kiel, Germany
Sept 22 Cologne, Germany
Sept 29 Campus Noir Festival
Oct 5 Cracow, Poland
Oct 6 Warsaw, Poland