Next Wave #1163: Trinket

Pristine indie pop with New York grit...

There’s just something about indie pop. As a sound, it remains impermeable – this self-supporting network, forever on the fringes, forever speaking its truth. Brooklyn group Trinket tap into this lineage, but add some East Coast grit; the melodies are charming, the production slightly raw, but the songwriting is pristine, the kind of lyrics that pull on your heartstrings and never let go.

Chatting to singer MK, it’s clear she’s a fan of those indie pop greats, name-checking The Field Mice, Heavenly, and more modern acts like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart as influences. “You could definitely say we’re fans,” she says of seminal imprints such as Sarah Records, or Slumberland. “These labels put out music that specialise in sentimentality in a way that so deeply motivated me to write.  A lot of these albums were huge bonding points and catalysts for us starting our band.”

When it comes to Trinket, though, they’re a little more difficult to pin down. MK found her bandmates by advertising on Instagram, and their individual voices tug the songs into different spaces – a shoegaze bliss, or an indie rock heft, for example. “I feel like we operate in a space between a couple of different genres,” she says. “I usually like to say that we’re playing indie pop, but a really warped version of it, kind of sweetened up and distorted. Sometimes I say that we’re angry jangle pop, sometimes I say that we’re really sweet shoegaze. It’s fun to be somewhere in there.”

Struggling to balance the demands of her day job with a clear passion for songwriting, it took being laid off to create the space in MK’s life that she needed. Grabbing this opportunity with both hands, she sketched out the band’s EP – a sublime dose of indie pop emotion, all rainbow melodies and rickety percussion – by working every hour New York could give her.

“That time was a challenging one, but a real gift that inspired me to put my all into Trinket,” the singer recalls. “It was such a gift to have that time and absolutely shaped the way our EP turned out.” 

“I’ve always had a hard time keeping down a day job,” she adds. “I’m not really sure what it is, but I think the people who hire me see that I have something else in my life that I’m fixated on (with our band) and I’ve had a lot of jobs that demand a certain kind of commitment that I can’t reciprocate. I am unable to kind of give my full self over to a day job nor do I want to!”

A band who evolved out of Brooklyn’s DIY networks, the various members of Trinket quickly found they had mutuals, with those initial rehearsal sessions immediately sparking the band into life. “It felt like we had always been friends,” MK recalls. “I feel so lucky to get to collaborate with them. It’s at the point where they feel like family and home to me.”

Trinket’s debut EP ‘New Hobby’ is out now on Sad Club Records, and the warm reception is something MK is still coming to terms with. “I experience a really disorienting amount of impostor syndrome so it kind of feels like this release is happening to someone else, or like when something really good happens to your friend. Seeing our cassette of the EP and listening to it for the first time was my favourite moment of this process,” she says. “I can’t believe as a band we created something out of nothing and that we get to share it with everyone. It’s also really vulnerable!”

Looking ahead, you can expect Trinket to put their shoulders to the wheel – more live shows are planned, more writing sessions, and more releases. “We’re hunkering down until summer and writing as much as we can. We have enough stuff for a full length. We’re saving up to hopefully record this summer. Then we do it all over again. Onward!”

Words: Robin Murray

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