Electro-synth duo Trust consists of writer and producer Robert Alfons and percussionist Maya Postepski (also of Austra). They hail from Toronto, where they met in 2009 and started working on songs together. They formed the band in 2010 and just released their full-length debut, TRST, in February 2012. A few of their top singles so far include “Candy Walls,” “Bulbform” and “Sulk”.
While Postepski also devotes much of her energy to Austra, she has commented that Trust is not just a side project. And thank goodness. As a big fan of Austra, I’m speaking from a bias here. But I think Trust may be forging a nu path in the industrial synthpop forest. Postepski’s rhythms back up a bigger, deeper, more evil sound in her new project – it’s a direct and welcome complement to the soaring feminine melodics of Austra.
Trust swells and throbs with dark sexual energy, pulling in gritty elements while always keeping a steady addictive hook going. The music relies on the old echoes of 1980s synths, soaring space sounds, driving industrial chord patterns, echoing chiptunes and Alfons’ creeping, climbing voice. Songs like “Sulk” and “Bulbform” boast very satisfying sections of vocal trance that would make you happy to sway in a darkened room for any number of hours.
TRST benefits from a diverse array of approaches to every track. While each song has a sweet repeating motif that keeps you listening to the end, they also surprise you by turns. In “Schoom”, a soulless, jangling bridge climbs into a warm melodic synth chorus and then lurches to a halt, interrupted by a harsh voice that somehow seems to fit. The song grinds slowly into what sounds like static going backwards, then launches into the main theme again.
Alfons balances his words nicely between clear and murky. You can sense some kind of meaning in each phrase, which makes the trance element of Trust’s music so accessible. This is introverted music.
Introverted, but not lulling. “Dressed for Space” offers up some direct dance energy, delivering a beautiful progression of storytelling within song. The first verse leads you on a winding path toward the hollowly uplifting chorus. It’s an odd blend of encouraging and melancholy.
Trust has been compared to Crystal Castles because they’re a male-female duo from Toronto and bear a similarity in their frenetic, computerized, spacey style. But that’s where the similarities end for me.
Trust has a completely different attitude and energy than Crystal Castles. The tracks on TRST are by and large quite melodic. They move forward in a logical progression from front to back, with spurts of sparkle here and there. It really works; it leaves you craving.
But as an equally addicted fan of Crystal Castles, I’d venture to say they have a much heavier sound; it absolutely assaults you. The staticky screaming and bleeping that leads you through a punching, crunching chord arrangement – that’s nothing like the almost soothing, rocking dark rhythms that progress through Trust’s work. What I’d like to see is Trust on stage with Crystal Castles and Austra. – could they ever stir up an electro-jam together!
Trust is currently touring Europe and will be visiting spots in Canada and the US through late June and July.