I came across a cache of old photosAnd invitations to teenage parties “Dress in white” one said, with quotations From someone’s wife, a famous writer In the nineteen-twenties
Robert Alfons, known professionally as TR/ST and previously Trust, made a striking entrance in 2010, resembling a sophisticated anomaly within the underground music work. His distinctive fusion of dark electronic pop quickly set him apart, cultivating a dedicated following that cherished the unconventional. Alfons masterfully combines brooding rhythms with an enigmatic allure.
As TR/ST ascended through a whirlwind of international tours, the Toronto titan settled in the scenic sprawl of Los Angeles for the past decade as his project transformed into a pillar of dark dance music. With the release of ‘Joyland‘ in 2014 and the ambitious two-part ‘The Destroyer‘ in 2019, Alfons navigated the complexities of the music world with finesse, continually expanding the boundaries of his creative vision.
Today marks the debut of TR/ST’s first full release through Dais Records. The EP opens with the previously debuted Robrash, which is an electronic odyssey characterized by vibrant synth basslines and robotic vocal effects, all culminating in a memorable hook. The lyrics depict a journey of longing and introspection, reminiscing about past experiences and questioning their self-worth in the context of a relationship. They invoke imagery of riding with crows and calling light, symbolizing a search for companionship and clarity.
Run, a pulsating new anthem for the dance floor, is graced by the presence of hyperpop sensation Cecile Believe. The lyrics explore themes of stagnation and introspection, with a reflection on unchanging situations and personal monotony. Somtimes a creative outlet just doesn’t do it for ya, sometimes we simply need an escape or cataclysmic change. Adding to the diversity is Evercall, a track that ventures into the realm of the ethereal with its delicate, nearly-ambient textures.
TR/ST also does a faithful cover of Pet Shop Boys’ iconic 1990 hit Being Boring, reimagined with the distinctive falsetto vocals of Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters. Being Boring is a reflective track inspired by a quote from Zelda Fitzgerald about people not being dull as long as they are curious. It touches on themes of nostalgia, the passage of time, and the bittersweet nature of memories. Neil Tennant was partly inspired by his own experiences and the loss of friends to the AIDS epidemic, which adds a poignant depth to the lyrics.
Completing the lineup is Slug, which delves into feelings of insignificance and emotional turmoil, juxtaposed with advice to remain kind and to cleanse negativity. It reflects on the struggle with love’s absence and the desire for solitude, amidst a backdrop of perceived betrayal and the need for emotional closure.
Purchase the EP here or listen below:
Alfons confirms he is in the studio working on a new album, expanding their singular sound in ways both cinematic and surprising: “Bigger, better, beautiful, and buried in mud.”
Catch TR/ST at Cruel World Festival on May 11 in Pasadena.