By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Four years after their last album Joyland, Ontario’s dark electro pop group TR/ST has returned with a new single and forthcoming LP and according to founder Robert Alfons, the new project will be darker and more dramatic than any of their previous work.
TR/ST, formerly known as Trust, began when Robert Alfons met Maya Postepski, formerly of the band Austra in 2009, with the band officially beginning in January of 2010. Their first album TRST was released in 2012 with Joyland coming just two years later. This initial intense burst of productivity is partially to blame for the lengthy hiatus between Joyland and their 2017 single “Bicep.”
“I really felt quite burnout after the release of the first and second records,” explains Alfons.
“Because they were released so close to one another and with all the touring they felt like one moment for me, and I knew that when I was going to that again I needed to feel revived and have a fresh perspective. So I did some living, faced some demons, had a very difficult few years but created a piece of work I’m so proud of.”
Alfons adds that he really hopes everything will come together and he can share some of the record this year — so fans still have some waiting ahead of them yet.
Much of the new album was recorded in isolation in a rural farmhouse in Ontario, but also in Los Angeles, where Alfons now lives.
“I really love Ontario and Toronto in the summer months, and I really wanted more space and less concrete for a bit. I moved to L.A. about three years ago now, and was ready for a change.”
The recording process was a mix of working solo, but also with Maya, Damian Taylor and Lars Stalfors. Maya had previously left the group after their debut album to focus on her work with Austra.
The new album, according to Alfons, deals heavily with shame and desire, whereas their first record was made with a conscious effort to be in one mood, and Joyland was more about letting different aspects of his personality shine through that perhaps others didn’t already know about.
In terms of plans beyond the release of the new record, Alfons says that he “can’t even begin to think past this release, putting my all into the album and the live show and all the other pieces,” adding that he can’t wait to share it with everyone. And as for the live show, fans in attendance at Terminus can expect:
“Crying on the dance floor.”
See TR/ST live at Terminus: Shockwave, which runs at Dickens Pub from July 27 to 29 [Calgary]Dickens Pub, Terminus, Terminus: Shockwave, TR/ST