Robert Alfons makes music that your 21-year-old self wants to do everything to. He goes by Trust, and unlike fellow Canadians Crystal Castles, Alfons’ music is, like his latest album insists, filled with joy. Not since Passion Pit’s Manners album have we witnessed such a hopeful synthpop record like Joyland. It hearkens back to when these current late 20-somethings were first discovering love, sex, dancing, drugs and how to be a functional alcoholic.
Alfons’ low croon creeps under his fat, twinkly keyboards that induce the oddest foot-tapping since Robyn’s Body Talk Pt. 1. “Geryon” is definitely a club banger, packed with trance-y leads and recited lyrics. This would fit nicely in the first season of Skins. “Joyland” is the perfect track for roaming the streets. Imagine feeding your friends pizza at 1 a.m. and then biking to the park to drink shitty beer purchased by the weird older guy that hangs out at the local cafe. This song screams side ponytails and spandex. The candy-coated ’80s treatment makes you feel nostalgic for a decade of which you only saw the tail end.
“Peer Pressure” is a raver’s paradise. Pulsing bass, falsetto vocals and staccato synth chords are the only way to get people dancing at 6 a.m. This song must be about the peer pressure you felt when that dude with dreadlocks, Jonesy, tried selling your friend ecstasy. You just wanted to hang, though, you know– just feel the vibes.
Joyland is one of those albums that seems like it’ll fly under the radar for awhile until it’s heavily remixed and/or blogged. Alfons is the type of musician who knows what he’s doing before he even does it. Before he touches a sequencer or a laptop, he’s able to reproduce the eternal disco in his head. This is definitely not noob-wave, and Trust is all the more better for it.