A few months ago, we had a great chat with the guys from Tragicomics, around the time when their last single, “Stranger Things,” was released.
Christopher Eatough (vocals, guitar)
Toby Cryne (guitar, keys)
Laura Morley (violin)
Jay Fearon (drums)
Tragicomics are an alt-country collective from the northwest of the UK and self-professed purveyors of sharply crafted pop songs, sweeping melancholy and doomed romanticism. Now the four-piece return with brand new single ‘Dinosaur’, a brooding dark folk ballad that morphs and grows into a monstrous psych-rock
I was really happy to have a listen to the track, which almost breaks down into two distinctive songs under one umbrella. It opens with an acoustic folk track feel, storytelling and ruminating on the ‘open road at my back.’ The contemplation, ‘Am I fading away?’ almost lulls the listener into the folk sound. But then, at about 3.25, there is a change of gear. There is suddenly a classical string break, and this huge sound builds up. Then this strumming rock guitar sound is placed upon the strings, and the drum sound kicks in to provide a heavy kick before the poetry (yes, poetry) around the 4.24 point. There is an unusual, stark, instrumental playout.
So, it is an open-road song, a complex musical theatre piece from a truly innovative band.
Like previous singles before it, Tragicomics‘ ‘Dinosaur’ continues to highlight the band’s versatility and their refusal to be easily defined. Across its 6 minutes, the track encompasses haunting acoustic ruminations, melodramatic strings, spoken word poetry and a searing electric guitar breakdown, all shot through with a self-eviscerating lyric about time, age and expectation.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the song, Tragicomics shared:
‘Dinosaur ‘is a huge song, both in sound and scope. It covers a lot of ground about getting older, being disillusioned, feeling dislocated or detached from reality in some way—like something prehistoric and out of time. We wanted to capture that with the eerie soundscape of the tune, but then there’s a real rejection of that idea and an explosion of life with the bigger, bolder back half and the walls of guitars.’
To record the track, the band went back to Manchester’s Pinhole Studio, layering vintage guitar sounds, vocals and strings, as well as various samples, to build the sonic landscape. It was mixed by Adam Gorman and mastered by Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Scott Walker) at Abbey Road and features Matt O’Brien on bass.
By Stevie Ritson
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