Touché Amoré are taking over our Spotify playlist w/ the songs that define them
The LA post-hardcore band released their latest album Lament in early-October.
Header image by George Clarke.
Those already familiar with the Touché Amoré probably consider them a favourite. They have a legacy dating back over a decade now within the post-hardcore niche, with a series of acclaimed records scattered within that time - their new one, which we'll get to in a second, is their fifth - elevating themselves and aiding to define an entirely new modern era for the sound, which has long evolved since its earliest beginnings all those years ago.
Their new album Lament continues this, building from four albums exploring the depths of intimate heaviness and personal darkness only to arrive at the end of this record with a sense of hope; the group tackling the themes that have defined the group's members throughout the last few years - politics, fragility, love - with a sense of optimism that holds down the record's core. It's a stark turn for the group, one that shows how they've continued to push themselves forward and embrace new forms of reflection as they age and mature (both personally and musically), with Lament being a key example of that.
Interestingly enough, the record was built with someone known for his work in the opposite: heavy metal producer Ross Robinson, whose infamous touch helped birth a chaotic edge to music in groups like Korn and Slipknot. Armed with Robinson's expertise, the group continue to push themselves, moving between the mania of heavier, contemporary metal sounds - brought out Robinson, no doubt - and the more stripped-back and shoegaze-y undertones that move amongst it, the record very much navigating that back and forth between the two sides.
In reflection, this contrast is something Touché Amoré have been playing with for the last decade now. It stems back from their earliest influences and the acts that define them as a band; the experimentalists within hardcore and heavy metal that take the genre into twisted new directions, as well as those that think beyond that, and do the same within the recently-thriving post-hardcore/post-punk spaces.
It's something that is doubled down upon in the new playlist the group have put together for us too, which dates back to some of the most influential acts that have defined Touché Amoré and their sound - the highs and lows, the heavy and light, and everything in between. It really gives a touch of insight into where these different flavours come from, and in turn, how Touché Amoré are able to build something completely unique out of them, taking smatterings of each into consideration.
Take a dive into the record below, and underneath that, read about the acts that have long defined Touché Amoré, as they step up as our next guest selectors.
10 songs which define Touché Amoré as a band:
1. Converge - The Broken Vow
It may come as a surprise, but there are only a handful of bands that get the stamp of approval from all five members of Touché. Converge is high on that list, and has had a major impact on the band.
2. Envy - A Chain Wandering Deeply
Envy is one of the most groundbreaking bands to have come from the post-hardcore/post-rock scene, and is arguably our single biggest influence musically. Envy mastered their sound when they released A Dead Sinking Story (2003). This song is the first track off of that record.
3. Nirvana - Milk It
Nirvana was a seminal band for Jeremy, Clayton, and I growing up. This is one of my favourite songs on In Utero.
4. The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving
When we first met Elliot in 2009, him and Jeremy bonded over their shared love for this band, and I feel it would be remiss to not include them in this list.
5. Tragedy - The Point of No Return
Tragedy is another band that gets the stamp of approval from every TA band member. Their drumming and anthemic guitars have had a big impact in shaping our sound.
6. Sonic Youth - Incinerate
This is from their album Rather Ripped (2006). Sonic Youth was a very early influence for Clayton, and I can still hear their impact in his guitar playing to this day.
7. AFI - Fall Children
AFI was the gateway band which introduced punk rock and underground music to Clayton, Nick, and myself. Their All Hallows EP also introduced me to The Misfits with their cover of the song Halloween.
8. Modest Mouse - Convenient Parking
Clayton and I got into Modest Mouse a little after we had discovered punk music. Their lo-fi sound and unconventional songwriting felt very punk in nature, and exposed us to indie rock as a whole when we were about 12 or 13.
9. City of Caterpillar - When Was The Last Time We Painted Over The Blood On The Walls?
Featuring members of Pg. 99, Majority Rule, and Malady—City of Caterpillar were pioneers of the screamo genre. Several years ago when they did reunion shows, TA was lucky enough to share the stage with them.
10. The National - Sorrow
We’ve probably played The National in the van the most of any other artist while traveling on the road. They have had an undeniable influence on us both musically and lyrically.
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