Upcoming Event: Trust @ Sound Academy

By Michael-Oliver Harding

It would be too convenient to write off Toronto’s latest melancholy synth-pop twosome as another Crystal Castles replica. That would be doing moody frontman Robert Alfons and percussionist Maya Postepski a grave injustice.

Sure, the male-female tandems share a similar affection for ‘80s new-wave and shrieking synths, haunted live sets made sexier by strobe lights and fog machines, and a carefully calibrated aura of mystery hovering over their guarded personas and their dark, seedy electro cuts. Heck, Hogtown’s nihilistic buzz band du jour even opened for CC earlier this year at Sound Academy.

But Trust are very much their own entity, starting with the fact that it’s the boy who takes vocal lead here, conjuring an alternately sensual and sinister mood as frontman. (He also happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to the late, tortured teen idol River Phoenix.)

Postepski, also a drummer for Toronto synthpop act Austra, met Alfons in 2009 and the pair quickly hit it off, garnering significant blog excitement upon the release of their sulky singles “Bulbform” (clearly channeling New Order-like otherworldliness) and the drug-aching “Candy Walls”.

Their dance-y debut record TRST, released in February on darling indie imprint Arts & Crafts, evokes a kind of end-of-the-world doom and gloom with its gauzy beats, screeching synths and wounded wailing. Their stunningly shot, sprinter-paced and frenetically colourful videos for “Sulk” and “Dressed for Space” have provided perfect visual complements to their trippy tunes.

Sure, the throbbing, ghosts-in-the-attic cuts Trust puts out have been de rigueur since the early aughts, but Alfons’ captivating baritone pipes and the duo’s propensity for throbbing double-entendres (as on “Gloryhole”, ostensibly about Alfons’ fear of sex) make you want to crack the code to their open-ended storytelling. Haven’t caught this breakout act live? Don’t miss your last chance to do so in 2012.


Second image taken on the set of “Dressed For Space” video shoot. Photo by Norman Wong