Trailer Trash Tracys had a reason for giving itself a name that sounds like it could belong to an opener for a Guns N’ Roses tribute band. According to guitarist Jimmy Lee, “If you have a shitty name and actually sound better than the name, it’s like, ‘Oh you’re really good!’ I want to confuse people as much as I can.”
Trailer Trash Tracys, which consists of Lee, Suzanne Aztoria (vocals), Adam Jaffrey (bass) and Dayo James (drums), is currently touring across the U.K. And today, the band is set to release its debut album, Ester, in the U.S. on Domino offshoot Double Six. This isn’t a band that just hopped on the scene, though. The members of Trailer Trash Tracys have been building up toward Ester for about two and a half years.
Before the formation of Trailer Trash Tracys, Lee and Aztoria were in another band together. But after it ended, the two stuck together and posted some leftover songs of theirs on MySpace. People liked the songs, and promoters started to notice. Soon after, Jaffrey and James joined the band, and the four started recording music together. But while many bands struggle to find an audience at first, Trailer Trash Tracys had the opportunity to open for indie-pop darlings the xx during a 2009 tour.
“We were kind of in the same circles in London where bands hang out and stuff,” says Lee. “They finished their album and wanted a band to support them, so they asked us.” Despite the tour with the xx, and praise for the band’s released singles at the time, Trailer Trash Tracys still had a lot of growing to do between 2009 and now.
“In that time we had to record and mix and load equipment and listen to and understand music a bit more,” Lee says. “We learned a lot in those two years. On the next album, we’ll be more crewed up. It’ll be quicker.”
The band shows off its musical knowledge on the debut full-length by using the solfeggio scale for some of the tracks. Lee’s interest in the scale, which is a specific way of tuning found in Eastern music, was piqued after reading a book that dealt with sound frequencies causing physical changes. With Ester, the band wanted to create a sound that was more complicated and a bit weird. Some of this attraction to the weird has resulted in the band’s music being compared to David Lynch’s early ’90s cult television show, Twin Peaks. While Lee says that he can see that side of things, it was just a matter of coincidence that the two share similar tones.
“We’re both fans of ’50s and ’60s Americana. Bands like Goblin, film scores. A lot of the French New Wave stuff we like. The way we work is we like pop music, we take the idea of a pop song and work around it to make it interesting by referencing other stuff,” says Lee.
Trailer Trash Tracys has been making waves on YouTube as well, especially with the release of its video for “You Wish You Were Red.” The video is a dreamy kaleidoscope of colors and sound. The band worked with a couple of directors on the video with a very small budget, but Lee and the group felt dissatisfied with the final product and re-edited the video themselves. “I actually got a copy of Final Cut Pro,” he says. “The labels were tearing their hair out, directors [were] mad. It was so cheesy before. We really had to edit it.”
There’s been talk of Trailer Trash Tracys playing a few shows in New York and maybe some in California, but nothing concrete has been scheduled yet. For now, the band plans on coming up with new ideas and music while exploring different mediums. “We’ll see what’s going on, see what happened in the past and present, and have fun with it. We want to keep ourselves entertained,” says Lee.