Former magician and stop-motion animator (Celebrity Deathmatch) Thomas Truax emerged from the fertile New York Antifolk scene that also birthed Jeffrey Lewis, Kimya Dawson, Lach, Beck and Regina Spektor. He is famed for his array of bizarre homemade instruments and his energetic live shows as well as his imaginative and romantic songwriting. He made his first live appearance outside the US at a Blang night at London’s 12 Bar Club and his sixth album Monthly Journal is released on Blang in conjunction with Truax's own Psychoteddy label. He squeezed the writing and production of these songs between a typically busy touring schedule, a sold-out run as MC for Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley's Evelyn Evelyn conjoined twin show at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest in 2011, a guesting as Hornicator player on the new David J (Bauhaus) album and the presentation of his first University lecture (University of Liverpool) on 'Creativity and how to succeed as an Indie musician'.
Monthly Journal is the result of Thomas’s self-imposed challenge to write, record and releas online a song each month throughout 2011. The year proved challenging. His father died in March ('March Winds'), a 5-year love relationship broke up in June ('Lost On The Moon In June'), and more recently he was forced to leave England which he has called home for the past several years due to tightening UK visa restrictions. Add to this the political, economic and social unrest of the past year, and there was no shortage of substance from which Truax could draw inspiration for this unique project.
"Having committed to the monthly songs probably kept me sane," explained Thomas to DJ Mark Radcliffe when interviewed on his BBC6 daytime show recently, "It was like the proverbial firmly-rooted tree I could hang on to to keep from being completely swept up by the tornado."
Tracks would be informed by and reflect the mood, weather and atmosphere of the months; the changing seasons, news, dreams, travels, personal and world events as they unfolded. There are mentions of Fukushima and the Royal Wedding, and August's song may very well be the first song aired on national radio that alludes to the summer riots.
Tracks were performed and recorded entirely by Thomas on portable equipment in the UK, the US and Germany. His self-made instruments such as his near-legendary 'Hornicator' and mechanical drum machines make frequent appearances but traditional instrumentation and orchestration dominate, and Thomas seems to have developed a new fondness for cinematic orchestras and old Casio keyboards.
Tracks from Monthly Journal have been played by Jarvis Cocker (with whom Truax collaborated on a live film score last year), Tom Robinson, Gideon Coe, Radcliffe and Maconie, and many others. BBC Tees DJ Bob Fischer aired a regular live interview with Thomas coinciding with each month's single.
"There's always a feeling you're listening to something different and something very very special." -Drowned In Sound
"Like a trip to the frayed edges of sanity. . .unapologetically original." -Dazed and Confused
"He's a serious proposition." –Q "Beguilingly Bizarre" –Uncut
"Amid the gleeful sonic invention it's easy to miss how good his songwriting can be...Truax is shaping up nicely as one of the great rock eccentrics." - Morning Star
"When he performs, it is a spectacle - the originality and seeming impossibility of what he does is much of the appeal." -The Guardian