Music / Premieres
Heir Traffic - Is to Clamber, to Climb?
Words by Edward Knight
Friday 6th December, 2019
Heir Traffic have burst onto the scene with their devastating debut single ‘Is to Clamber, to Climb?’ - a staggering entry into post-punk canon, the song paints a portrait of a dreary modern life, and with a craftsmanship that belies their experience, shows us why they’re an act to keep an eye on.
Formed in the summer of 2018, Heir Traffic have been making a name for themselves as an energetic live act, with their sparse brand of post-punk exciting audiences all over Melbourne. Their music embodies a similar tone to a wary existentialist, taking a picture of a bleak world in which we all toil, framing it so when you see it you can’t help but smile, as though the absurdity of searching for meaning in this life is inherent. It’s heart-wrenching, emotional music, a descendant of Protomartyr or Gold Class, and certainly wouldn’t disappoint their post-punk lineage. Now they come to us with ‘Is to Clamber, to Climb?’. 

As with all good post-punk, ‘Is to Clamber, to Climb?’ walks a fine line between melancholy and animosity. Finding this balance is not easy – but it is what sets Heir Traffic apart. The sparse arrangement is perfectly balanced between the churning rhythm section and assailant guitar, dancing around each other, never over stepping the others’ roles. Hugh Mitchell’s vocal performance is delivered with equal mastery, showing complete control as he croons or breaks with emotion. This balance gives the song its glimmer of hope, a defiance in the face of all doubt, a determination to hold yourself tall amongst the noise and confusion of the world today.

Or, as they explain; "clambering, climbing; both will get you there, but it's about how you get there."

The song feels like a great relief for the band, and as they look to the future, they take a moment to reflect on the first song they wrote together. They said that after around three years of playing around with it, “it feels good to finally put it out – this was the starting point for Heir Traffic.”

Check out Heir Traffic’s fantastic starting point above, and catch them launching the single on Friday, December 19th, at Nighthawks with Zombeaches, Pussy Willow and Cut Wire.