The language of outbursts. The cadence of breakdowns. It’s an actual thing. It’s almost too honest. We all get real fluent – real fast – when we’re in the middle of it.
But getting that into a song, in any recognizable form, that’s a songwriting task challenging enough to CAUSE a breakdown. The buildup, the layers, what’s said and what’s not. Dynamics and crescendos are more than craft here, they have to be genuine. Because every note that rings out has to ring true.
And on top of all that, can it still be beautiful? In the hands of Trailer Swift, yeah. “Cross My Heart” is slow-burn space rock born of broken promises and retrospection. The first single off their forthcoming Variant LP, out June 16 via Mint 400 Records, rides loud-quiet waves that mirror the ups and downs of a soul getting laid bare. It’s there in the lyrics, it’s there in the precise rhythmic shifts. “I’ll cross my heart then hope to die in a way that we all can agree on” – over a spare, stuttering beat – we’ve all been there, we just weren’t able to put it like that.
Recorded with Ethan Dussault (Caspian, On the Might of Princes, Malleus) at New Alliance in Somerville, MA in 2022, and mastered with Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East in 2023, Variant is the follow-up to 2020’s 6-song EP You Are Not What You Do. The band has absorbed the best elements of fellow riffy volume-pedalers like Hum, Nothing, Pup and SDRE. And they paid attention – nailing that sense of isolation, unfulfillment, underlying doom without spelling it out. If you know, you know: “There was a dream. Not what it seemed in the end. But I like to pretend that it was.” And there it is, a healthy dose of resolution in a song that might dwell in the dark but is also, quite simply, a blast.
And the band name? Trailer Swift? You go get four musicians to agree on a band name. Let us know how that goes. The Boston scene has always run on seriously good bands that don’t sweat taking themselves too seriously. Because they’re a little busy writing better songs than the out-of-towners and blowing them off the stage. They’re in good company with kindred spirits and crowd flatteners like Bird Language, Zip Tie Handcuffs, Pile, Cave In, and Real Beaut.
Yup, nothing’s worse than a band that can’t poke fun at themselves. The music video sees the guys load into another nameless bar somewhere on the road, getting their soundcheck in, then posting up to the bar while a much younger, better-looking band rips through “Cross My Heart” as if it were their own. Our heroes aren’t impressed, even though a record exec is, and continue to sh*t-talk the alternate universe Trailer Swift and their lazy, garbage Twisted Sister rip-off logo.