Transatlantic Trawler: Volume 1
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There is so much music out there. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, and sometimes the only way to make any sense of life is to seek refuge in others. To find a piece of yourself in someone else, somewhere else. I remember the first time I realized that someone from a different country knew about a band from my city. It felt life-changing. Music was a way to connect to a wider world that felt so unattainable and so different, but sure enough, there were kids who spoke a different language and lived thousands of miles away, losing their mind over the same shit as me.
This is the inaugural “Transatlantic Trawler”, a monthly column (published the second Wednesday of every month) where I write about five bands from mainland Europe that I just cannot get enough of. I’m going to do my best to keep it to recent releases, but there are some essential bands that didn’t make the oceanic leap, so I’ll be covering those, too. I hope you find something you really love.
Shakers (Mainz/Wiesbaden, Germany)
Shakers’ debut album I Need You To Know dropped in April and served up eleven tracks of impeccable, exciting and intelligent screamo. Ultra melodic and with so much soul and heart, it’s a debut that is so self-assured and confident. With real shades of bands like Alta, Daitro, Touché Amoré and early Pianos Become The Teeth, their rhythm section is unbelievably tight and vocalist Chrisse Weiller’s delivery is right up there with any band on Deathwish. Mastered by Jack Shirley (Touché, Gouge Away, Deafheaven), it sounds incredible and it’s truly one for any fan of the genre.
I Love Your Lifestyle (Malmö/Gothenburg, Sweden)
Super fun, super twiddly, super well-constructed emo that borrows beautifully from indie rock in a way that makes you want to jump into a car with your best friends and drive fast as hell with the windows down with this blasting. With guitar work that wouldn’t be out of place on an Algernon Cadwallader or Glocca Morra record, it’s music meant to be played loud on a summer day. Rumours of a new album coming this year on a ultra-respected label in the scene, get on board now.
Sakura (Vienna, Austria)
Sakura’s new track “White Noise” dropped last month following May’s “No Place Like Home”, and both are a continuation of her growth as an artist, finding more confidence in her sound and taking more risks. “White Noise” has a huge chorus that blows you away, it’s classic and soaring with reverb-soaked vocals and guitars meeting pounding drums and bass. “No Place Like Home”, though, shows a more delicate side to Sakura, an electronic ballad about watching a place you love struggling under tyrannical rule. If you like bands like Ellis, you’re gonna love this.
Traverse (Paris, France)
Really catchy and hook-y pop punk straight from Paris that throws in some really beautifully intricate guitar interplay and drum fills that catch you off guard. They fit perfectly within any FEST lineup and have played the Florida punk pilgrimage a handful of times. Having shared the stage with bands like Timeshares, Arms Aloft, Goddamnit amongst a ton more, you’ll dig this if you like your punk music with big choruses and even bigger singalongs. Would fit perfectly on a No Idea compilation.
Decacy (Vicenza, Italy)
Frantic, urgent emoviolence inspired punk, Decacy dropped their debut EP, Non Cambierà, back in February and it’s one of my favourite releases of the year so far. Two minutes in on “uno/due” has the best riff of the record, and it’s all just so emotional and messy and jagged, it’s amazing. Play this one loud and get ready to feel like shit. Sung in Italian, it’s a perfect example of what I want Transatlantic Trawler to show – no matter where we are, no matter the language we’re singing in, we’re all facing the same problems, the same struggles.
Conor Mackie // @mackieconor
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