Review – Trifecta – The New Normal – by John Wenlock-Smith

‘The New Normal’ is the sophomore album from Trifecta,the band of Nick Beggs (Bass and Chapman Stick and Vocals), Adam Holzman (Keyboards and Synths) and Craig Blundell (Drums and Percussion). With Beggs and Holzman from Steven Wilson’s band and Blundell from Steve Hackett’s band, this trio craft mainly Jazz/Fusion pieces although this time around there are several vocal track on which Beggs sings, he actually has a really melodious voice.

The majority of these tracks are under three minutes in length but, even so, within those short pieces there is a definite invention and ingenuity within the playing to make something different to what could be expected. Chinese Fire Drill being a good example of this, out of a gentle keyboard melody comes a fiery guitar passage which later returns to the gentle melody earlier heard. Ouch! My OCD is another weird track, with dialogue between Beggs and Blundell on sibling rivalry that is a carry over from the previous track. There’s good use of a didgeridoo that plays a central part to the track too, a very ingenious track this one, another sturdy drum pattern is also important and Impressive here. Other tracks have a funky backbeat and Hammond organ blazing away to fine effect with Beggs’ bass or stick usually propelling the pace of the music from the front. Daddy Long Legs is a really interesting track with a rock solid bass line and some synth noodling from Holzman, all bound in the precision of Blundell’s drums. It’s a most gripping track with a great sound tand classy rhythm.

Also of note is the off kilter, acid jazz feeling, Just feel It Karen. Again, a great bass line from Beggs helps drive this track along and Holzman’s synths dive all over the rhythm section’s propulsive thrust. It’s another ingenious track which shows the formidable talents of Beggs, Holzman and Blundell off to a tee. The interplay behind the trio is highly impressive and extremely musically tight and satisfying, how they manage come up with these odd pieces is a question only they can answer but at least they are prepared to share these fruits of their labour with us, which is all the more rewarding. Once Around The Sun With You is possibly the most normal song of the album as it has a melody and a theme of sorts, whereas Ornamental Lettuce is just plain weird and sounds like something Frank Zappa could have conceived on an off day! This brief, yet very busy, track has a really powerful drum part that makes it stand out.

Canary In A Five and Dime is a song about ex US president Donald Trump and it is not a flattering song for him by any means. Stroboscopic Fennel is another brief but entertaining track with an Interesting tale to tell. Stupid Pop Song brings to mind Beggs’ Kajagoogoo years in style and it’s actually rather good and memorable. Wacky Tobaccy is a more jazzy track with great bass or stick playing throughout. Wake Up Call is another jazzy tune with an almost call and response feel to it and this works well here.

‘The New Normal’ is rather short and yet, within its eighteen tracks is some really excellent and unusual music. Okey, some tracks work better than others but, overall, I would propose that it is definitely much more hit than miss. It’s an interesting release and, whilst I understand it may not be to everyone’s taste, I enjoyed it immensely.

Released 12th April, 2024.

Order from the link here:

Trifecta – The New Normal (

Trifecta announce details on ‘The New Normal’, New Album Released 12th April 2024 on Kscope

The collaboration of singer songwriter Nick Beggs, keyboardist extraordinaire Adam Holzman and internationally renowned drummer Craig Blundell combine Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock with a dash of English wit.

Pre-orders are available here:

The New Normal (

Trifecta have announced their new album – their second musical observation in the form of The New Normal on 12 April on Kscope.

It is often said that the greatest musical groups are the ones with the right mixture of ideas, talent and chemistry. These are things Trifecta have in abundance. It is, of course, no secret that the three members – keyboardist Adam Holzman, bassist/Chapman Stick mastermind Nick Beggs and drummer Craig Blundell – have spent their most recent years touring some of the world’s biggest stages as part of many bands including with Steven Wilson. So when they decide to form a largely instrumental offshoot as a trio, eventually writing and releasing 2021’s Fragments debut, they were already off to a head start, with a tangible sense of creative familiarity that had been stunning audiences in every corner of the globe. 

For listeners seeking to escape the confines of the normal world, ‘The New Normal’ will enable a window into vistas in a multitude of sonics and in concept. By combining elements of Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion all with a dash of typical English wit the band bring the listener into a world where sound is malleable, time is a mere concept and vegetables have otherworldly properties like the ‘Stroboscopic Fennel’. 

This new 19 track, epic sees the band building upon the innovative ambition and genre-hopping skulduggery they so fearlessly introduced themselves to the world with on ‘Fragments’. The New Normal could easily have carried on in that same direction and comfortably delighted fans of all three musicians, as well as their associated projects. But if there’s anything we know about Holzman, Beggs and Blundell, it’s that they are bursting with ideas of every kind. Which explains why this album is guided by an uncontainable brilliance and bravado that packs in so many twists and turns, practically laughing at any notion of genre or boundary. The mid-70s fusion of Beck And Call cascades into the jazz noir brilliance of Dot Are You Wooing without a flicker of hesitation, venturing far beyond the introductory nuances into something truly dazzling and unexpected, telling another chapter of a rapidly evolving story. It’s almost as if this band take delight in ignoring the stylistic stop signs that provoke fear in the less adventurous… 

“I think we all felt it was important to not fit too heavily into one idiom,” admits Beggs. “There was a lot we wanted to say and we couldn’t really compact it all into one predetermined sound. I’m especially proud of Dot Are You Wooing and Chinese Fire Drill. We wanted to take listeners on a journey they won’t forget. The roots of every song is representative of one person in this band. Adam would come up with something like Wacky Tobaccy, mapping out the sonics, and then we would expand on it together, changing things up wherever it suited the music. Craig came up with the song Ornamental Lettuce and then Adam and I added our parts on top. There’s plenty more to come!”

Joining the trio of masterful musos is Alex Lifeson (Envy of None / Rush) for additional guitar on ‘Once Around The Sun With You’ and Theo Travis (Steven Wilson) on saxophone for insectoid grooves of ‘Daddy Long Legs’. Alongside John Paul Jones’ very chapman stick from 1979 that was sent to Nick and used to record ‘The New Normal’. 

 The album was recorded in the Bermuda Triangle of normality that is Leighton Buzzard, Bedford and New York between 2019 and 2023, engineered by the band and mastered by Andy VanDette (Beastie Boys / Rush / Whitney Houston), adorned with artwork that was inspired by an original idea from Hajo Muller.

Available on Limited edition white 2 LP / CD / 2 LP and digitally – with pre-orders available here:

The New Normal (

1. Beck And Call [02:35] 

2. Dot Are You Wooing? [00:53] 

3. Stroboscopic Fennel [02:25] 

4. Just Feel It Karen [03:53] 

5. Sibling Rivalry [04:01] 

6. Ornamental Lettuce [02:15] 

7. Daddy Long Legs [04:07] 

8. What Are You Doing? [00:53] 

9. Stupid Pop Song [03:32] 

10. Crime Spree [03:07]

    11. Bach Stabber [02:07] 

12. Kleptocrat [02:35] 

13. Once Around The Sun With You [03:50]

 14. Chinese Fire Drill [03:29] 

15. Ouch! My OCD [01:17] 

16. Wake Up Call [03:46] 

17. Wacky Tobaccy [03:28] 

18. Canary In A Five And Dime [03:55] 

19. On The Spectrum [03:23

Band picture by Hajo Mueller.