American Trappist has released their new album titled ‘Poison Reverse’. Filled with quiet lament and subtle grief in spots, at times a confessional, at times a beautiful chaos, what ‘Poison Reverse’ is consistently is sonically beautiful. To be touching and abrasive at the right times is what a good band shows: it’s diversity.
Your fav song will change with your mood, as these are a set of artists in tune with their inner id and outer introversion. Music for the masses that won’t count themselves in the masses. Brilliant.
“I think Poison Reverse is the right place to start for anyone getting familiar with American Trappist for the first time. Over the years the band has shifted from a singer-songwriter project to an open, collaborative process in which I just happen to have the role of writing songs. Poison Reverse is a singer-songwriter record performed live in the studio with a four-piece band. There’s something to be said for focusing less on traditional song structure when you’re working with a bunch of talented, open-minded musicians, but I also think we’re super interested in raw arrangements of songs that could receive one of many treatments. We like to default to what we can perform live. We think there’s something really interesting about letting the live performance dictate the record and not the other way around.”
About American Trappist & ‘Poison Reverse’
On their fourth full-length album, Poison Reverse, American Trappist explores the ways in which we might dress the old wounds—of depression and heartbreak, the wounds that we accumulate as we age, stemming from moments of vulnerability and change—in new ways. Sometimes this manifests as a literal dressing, as on “Lipstick,” when they remind us to put on our face in the dark, to look for a reason to live and to find it. On the album’s slower and moodier tracks, including, “Orlando,” named for Virginia Woolf’s deathless, gender-fluid protagonist from the novel of the same name, the dressing is more of a plea: for understanding, for a way forward and through.
Born in the isolation of the pandemic, following the cancellation of live music and a period in which depression felt almost like a friend and a comfort, singer, and lyricist Joe Michelini works to understand what it means to make space for happiness in the face of loneliness. “Two years ago, I came out to my partner as a non-binary person,” they write, “after we had committed to each other but before I had the words to describe something I had always known about myself.” The album expresses this moment of change as something that is filled with both tension and enormous freedom, as well as the opportunity to “leave the light on for everybody else.”
The title, Poison Reverse—taken from Michelini’s work as a computer programmer—is used to describe a situation in which a computer might otherwise get stuck in an infinite loop, refusing to ignore a valid path completely, but labeling it as expensive in time and resources—so much so that the computer should take any other route first. “It’s not a stretch to think about my past this way,” Michelini writes, “in that it is impossible to ignore. The best I can do is try to remind myself how ‘expensive’ it would be to take that path, and hope I’m willing to take Another.”
American Trappist was formed in 2015 in Philadelphia and has released three full-length albums, including their self-titled debut; Tentanda Via; and The Gate, which American Songwriter called a “welcomed escape, rampant with charismatic post-punk stylings.” Poison Reverse, recorded mostly live with engineer Matt Poirier (The War On Drugs, The National) at Miner St. studios in Philadelphia and mastered by Alan Douches (Angel Olsen, Ratboys) at West West Side in NY, also features Lewie II on bass, Shane Luckenbaugh on drums, and Max Kulicke on guitar.