TRUST – Rescue Mister

Broody return for the ‘Goth Eeyore’..

Ahead of the release of Joyland, Trust’s follow-up album release to 2012′s TRST, comes details of the first scheduled single titled ‘Rescue, Mister’.

The trademark sleazy synths of Trust are present and correct for this driving slice of dark joy. Along for the ride are some tweaked falsetto vocals from Robert Alfons – an effective counterpoint to his distinctive broody voice (a concept that worked to great effect on ‘This Ready Flesh’ from the TRST album).

The regimented beats of ‘Rescue, Mister’ demonstrate more of a lean towards the dance floor than previous outings, which is no bad thing and the song in fact suggests that Trust are taking a more accessible approach for ‘Joyland’. Snippets of Trust’s new material had previously only been available by their enigmatic album trailer and via fan footage which surfaced on YouTube.

A remix of ‘Rescue, Mister’ by Physical Therapy is also available.

Meanwhile, the complete tracklisting for the Joyland album has been revealed by record label Arts & Crafts:

1 Slightly Floating
2 Geryon
3 Capitol
4 Joyland
5 Are we Arc?
6 Icabod
7 Four Gut
8 Rescue, Mister
9 Lost Souls/Eelings
10 Peer Pressure
11 Barely

Arts & Craft are also offering a free download of ‘Rescue, Mister’ for pre-orders of Joyland via their website: http://www.galleryac.com/trust-joyland.html


TRST is currently available via Amazon, iTunes and the usual digital outlets.

Joyland is due for release on 4th March 2014 on the Arts & Crafts label.

Trust will be performing at XOYO on 20th May and tickets are now available from: http://birdonthewire.ticketabc.com/events/trust2/

http://ttrustt.com/


SINESTAR – Singularis Launch Event

Bristol synthpop outfit release their debut album…

Sinestar all hail from the Bristol area and got together in late 2011, formed from the ashes of Jagged. Their debut I Am The Rain EP was released at a launch party at The Tunnels, Bristol in early 2012 and two years on, they’re back there to launch their long awaited debut album, Singularis.

Joining them on an entertaining and value for money bill are Cornwall’s Low Tide Theory, whose debut album, The Big Sky, attracted much radio play in 2013, and also Analog Angel, whose latest release was the well received Pride EP, which also proved popular on the airwaves.

And it’s Analog Angel kicking things off tonight, their dark synth tones going down well. Singer John Brown has a languid and confident stage presence borne of many gigs both here and in Europe and a catchy new song, ‘Shout’, goes down well, which bodes well for a planned release of new material in a month or two. They finish to great applause with the radio friendly favourite, ‘We Won’t Walk Away’.

Low Tide Theory’s lighter, more commercial songs provide a good contrast and demonstrate the range of material under the synthpop banner. A poor sound balance and monitoring issues didn’t help but they turned things around with members of the crowd joining in with ‘We All Fall Down’ and ‘Crash’ to close their set.

So, both bands were an enjoyable hors d’oeuvres for the main course about to appear. When Sinestar hit the stage, it’s clear how much they’ve progressed from what was already a good live band in 2012. Support slots for Mesh in Europe have allowed them to hone their craft in front of large audiences and the result is a tight, confident band who make a great noise… the best combination of live synths, vocals, guitar, bass and drums this side of Ultravox. Singer Iain Brownlie prowls the stage, rarely still, confident with just the right amount of cockiness, knowing how good the band is, how good the songs are, and how well he can sing. And he’s not wrong. Songs like ‘Hope and Prey’, ‘Rise and Fall’ and ‘Butterflies’ all have soaring choruses many singers in the synthpop world would struggle with. They demand a good vocal range and he delivers every time. Poor onstage monitoring did mean a brief problem as he struggled to hear himself but that was dealt with quickly and it was business as usual.

Despite this being the official launch of Singularis, they took the opportunity to showcase two catchy new songs and both go down well; a good indicator of the rich vein of material the songwriting partnership of Brownlie and keyboard player Mark Trueman are still uncovering, as they carry on where they left off after completing the album.

Singularis features 14 tracks in all. What is very much a modern album starts off with a very traditional opener… an overture! ‘Chrysalis’ is a short instrumental purely designed to open up proceedings, using the same chord sequence as ‘Butterflies’, the final track on the album, to link the two and thematically open and close the album (and if you don’t know how a chrysalis and butterflies are linked, go and look it up now).

Next up, a reworking of the lead track from their first EP. The original masters of ‘I Am The Rain’ not being available, the band took the opportunity to go back and do it again. The result loses something of the raw, “5 guys setting up and playing” quality of the original but that’s balanced against a far clearer, more polished mix. This version of the track incidentally, has also been been remixed by Mesh’s Rich Silverthorn and made freely available for download on the web and is well worth picking up.

Tracks like ‘Cry Like You Mean It’, ‘Without Glory’ and ‘Locked From The Inside’, set the pattern – upbeat, nagging riffs, catchy choruses, plenty of electronics blended with traditional band elements. And blessed, in Iain Brownlie, with a singer who can really sing. His wide range is shown on the impressive ‘Rise and Fall’, a song which has received much acclaim, and which, in parts, sounds like a second singer is being used. Rare indeed.

‘Lived For’ appeared on their debut EP and sounds like it’s been remastered to fit in with the rest of the album… which it does, it’s a majestic track and it would have been a shame if it had been missed off. Likewise, ‘Hurricane’ from that EP is here too, albeit in the remixed version, courtesy of Tenek’s Geoff Pinckney.

The gritty Undisputed ‘King Of The Tragedy’ is similarly hook laden, featuring call and response vocals and raw guitar alongside the usual synth lines. This song is perhaps more representative of Sinestar live, a raw yet polished and powerful live experience which has impressed many over the last couple of years. It’s an aggressive track which leads into the album’s finale.

‘Butterflies’ closes the album and is already gaining a reputation as a bit of a show stopper. Unlike their other output, it’s a ballad, complete with arpeggiated piano chords, strings, close up vocals… and a one word chorus with a soaring vocal which literally takes off, supported by strings. And which puts the hairs up on the back of your neck. More than one person has told this reviewer they reach for a hankie for this one! So simple and yet stays in your head long after it’s finished.


http://www.sinestar.co.uk


Introducing LORNA DUNE

When asked about Dune, many people are more likely to remember Sting in his winged underpants (from the 1984 David Lynch adaptation) than other more relevant plot elements. Originally a classic novel, Dune featured the nomadic Fremen – a people with a dedication to the preservation of water on the desert planet and whose long exposure to the spice melange had rendered their eyes a very distinctive blue.

Dune certainly appears to have had a cultural impact on musicians of late with Canadian experimental musician Timotheos crafting an album inspired by the novel – an idea that had previously occurred to fellow Canadian Claire Boucher (aka Grimes) when she released her 2010 debut album Geidi Primes (Geidi Prime being a fictional planet in the Duneuniverse).

Brooklyn-based musician Lorna Krier, meanwhile, has rechristened herself as Lorna Dune for a solo project, which first manifested itself with the release of the Sidereal EP in 2012. Enthusiasts of 19th Century literature will appreciate the play on words with her moniker, but music fans will definitely want to stick around for her own unique style of synth-based soundscapes.

Krier has some suitably impressive credentials to back her up. As well as being a trained pianist, she’s also worked with the likes of Philip Glass and Steve Reich in the past. Back in 2006 she was a founder-member of Gothic electronica outfit Victorie and later went on to co-found synth trio Love Like Deloreans. More recently, she’s been collaborating with composer Lukas Ligeti with the experimental group Kaleidoscope Point.

Sidereal, her debut release as Lorna Dune, was issued as a cassette and download release on Dazzleships Records in 2012. The EP featured a collection of glittering electronic soundscapes and ambient textures. ‘Love Out Of Balance’ presents delicate arpeggio-fuelled melodies delivered by electronic piano. ‘The Depths’ offered up an oceanic plunge of buzzy burbling wonder. Meanwhile, the title track is a soaring celestial composition that at times sounds like a Kraftwerk tune from the universe next door.

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Her latest release is Miamisphere, a 4 track EP which opts for a more beats-driven affair, particularly with the likes of ‘Agnes Day’, a panoramic layered composition of brooding synthesisers and tonal delights. Title track ‘Miamisphere’ (which originally appeared on Sidereal), meanwhile, is a much more languid affair with its hypnotic melodies soaring above a dense bed of electronic effects.

It’s difficult to categorise Lorna Dune as she elegantly sidesteps genres (while cheekily giving a nod to several) yet remaining firmly within the orbit of electronic music. Certainly Krier is offering up a refreshing alternative for those that may feel exhausted by retro synth acts and the like, which can only be beneficial. Or, to quote Dune: “Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens”.


Miamisphere is out now on lo bit landscapes and is available (along with Sidereal) from Amazon

http://www.lornadune.com
https://www.facebook.com/lornadunemusic
https://twitter.com/lornadunekrier


Text by Paul Browne
8th January 2014

PRINCESS CENTURY Lossless

You’d think that between TRUST and AUSTRA, the talented MAYA POSTEPSKI would have all her free time accounted for. So it was somewhat surprising to learn that she’s also embarked on a solo project titled PRINCESS CENTURY…

Releasing a vinyl-only album titled Lossless in April 2013, Postepski demonstrated a flair for the experimental. Those expecting Lossless to be retreads of Austra/Trust material are probably going to be disappointed. Instead, this is Postepksi exploring sound and composition.

Lossless (inspired in part by the Charles Manson murders) shows Maya experimenting with a variety of approaches to electronic music and mixing, often with dark overtones. ‘Le Rayon Vert’ pulls in video game tunes and acts in some ways as an overture for the album, while ‘Palace’ gives us a brooding drum machine-driven track augmented with vague vocals.

It’s clear that Maya is less interested in conventional song composition and more interested in exploring sound forms and styles. As a result, many of the vocal elements tend to be obscured in washes of echo (as with ‘Twin House’) or used for rhythmic effect (such as on the ominous tones of ‘PiG’)

A clearer take on Maya’s pipes is evident on ‘Giving It Away’ while ‘Love and Money’ (a collaboration with Danish electronic musician Heidi Mortenson) presents a track featuring the metallic-sounding percussion that Maya uses to great effect on Austra material.

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Meanwhile, ‘Crummy Bones’ is more of a lo-fi percussion-driven track with brief synth interludes. ‘Das Schlimmste’ paints a soundscape in battleship grey for an electronic composition that hints at menace. The synthetic soundscape and beats of ‘Heaven Rock’ presents one of Lossless’ finest moment with its electronic melodies and dreamlike moods. At times it sounds like Kraftwerk playing with triphop!

While no precise details about where Princess Century will be going with the new album, a contribution to a recent Stellar Kinematics compilation suggests a much tighter approach to future material. The track, titled ‘Rendezvous’, offers up a percussive number that could almost be Austra meets Jean Michel Jarre.

A follow-up album (as yet untitled) is scheduled for release in the spring


http://princesscentury.com
http://soundcloud.com/princesscentury/sets/lossless-1


Text by Paul Browne
2nd January 2014