TR/ST has shared his new single Grouch, which is the third instalment from his upcoming LP ‘The Destroyer – 1’. The track follows Unbleached and Gone. The song was co-written & co-produced by TR/ST’s frequent collaborator Maya Postepski. Take a listen to Grouch via YouTube below.
When talking about the track Robert Alfons says, “I really wanted this song to convey a feeling of liberation and decadence. Similar to my experience when I first heard Pet Shop Boys’ Very album. Such emotion and drama. Even the CD’s orange jewel case had bumps on it, so sensual.”
Maya Postepski added, “Makes me reminisce those awkward teenage romances, basement video games with the lights off, blasting music and escaping into alter realities while being secretly in love with someone you were told not to.”
Releasing in two parts, ‘The Destroyer – 1’ and ‘The Destroyer – 2,’ the first LP will be out April 19th with the second 8 track instalment coming in November 2019, both via Royal Mountain Records and Grouch via House Arrest.
Together the ‘The Destroyer’ LP’s are one piece but will be distributed as two stand-alone albums, different sides of the same coin. ‘The Destroyer’ will be TR/ST’s much anticipated third album. It follows the two previous records, 2012’s self-titled release and 2014’s ‘Joyland’. TR/ST will also be embarking on U.S. and EU tours. Dates are below.
“The giant agaves outside my home only bloom every 20 or 30 years. Being around that was a powerful lesson in slowness. And in tenacity.” Robert Alfons says that accepting a radical change of pace was key in making ‘The Destroyer,’ his new album under the moniker TR/ST.
In the five years since releasing ‘Joyland,’ TR/ST’s last full-length album, Alfons wrote and recorded songs in a farmhouse in southern Ontario and in Los Angeles—where he has relocated—and worked with an all-star cast of collaborators.
Maya Postepski, Alfons’s collaborator on the 2012 Juno Award-nominated debut ‘TRST,’ co-wrote and co-produced six of the album’s songs, and Alfons worked with co-producers Lars Stalfors and Damian Taylor to refine the album’s sound. But he found the key ingredient to creating the driving, anthemic songs on the album—which will be released in two parts; the first on April 19, 2019 and the second in November, 2019—was patience.
“The environment I work in has always guided me. But it took a long time to submit to the kind of patience these songs were asking of me. I was getting glimpses of what I wanted to achieve with the album,” he says. “But it wasn’t feeling cohesive; things weren’t aligning in a clear direction.” Alfons realized it was a question of patience and perseverance. “My first two records were put out so close to one another that I think of them as one,” he says, “They just poured out of me.” With ‘The Destroyer,’ the process was entirely different. “It was so much more careful. I found myself seeking spaces of absolute quiet; I needed them in order to hear what was going on inside.”
Iris, the first song Alfons wrote for the album, began to take shape near the end of 2014, just before Alfons moved to Los Angeles. He credits the city with contributing greatly to the album. “It’s this huge, polarized, frantic place, bursting with sound,” he says, “But it can also be lonely and alienating. In a way, that contrast became a kind of inspiration for the new work.”
Iris would end up setting the tone for what became a collection of 16 tracks. “Lyrically and thematically, ‘Iris’ characterizes what so much of this record is about,” Alfons says. “Sonically, it teeters between warmth, melody and exhilaration on one hand, and isolating, industrial hardness on the other. That was a contrast I wanted to play with from the beginning.”
Indeed, the first part of ‘The Destroyer,’ which is comprised of eight songs, highlights industrial and dream pop influences on songs like Colossal and Gone, where Alfons’ knack for shimmering sounds and powerful vocals are on display. The second part reveals a more mellow, intimate side of the artist. however TR/ST’s trademark sound, which has been lauded in outlets including Pitchfork, FADER, and NME, is present throughout.
Following Alfons’ first releases, The New Yorker wrote, “The songs are buoyed by crystalline drum machines and chilling synths, and capped with Alfons’ forceful vocals, which alternate between a feminine falsetto and a brittle, witchy monotone.” Though this knack for the unexpected stays strong with ‘The Destroyer,’ the album “is much more emotionally tumultuous than the earlier releases,” Alfons says. “It’s also much darker and more sincere.”
If there’s a theme that sums up the process of making this record, it’s the deconstruction of shame. “When I was a child, making music was a necessity for me in order to feel sane,” Alfons says. “It was a way to understand and overcome blockages I couldn’t necessarily define. And in a way this album was a return to that, to letting the music guide my growth, rather than vice versa.”
‘The Destroyer – 1’ is available for pre-order here.
6. Poorly Coward
7. Control Me
8. Wake With
Alfons will follow the release of both parts of ‘The Destroyer’ with U.S. and international tour dates throughout 2019.
04/09 – London, UK @ The Steelyard (Sold Out)
04/11 – Barcelone, ES @ Razzmatazz
04/12 – Madrid, ES @ Sala Caracol
04/13 – Paris, FR @ Le Bababoum (Sold Out)
04/14 – Paris, FR @ Le Bababoum (Sold Out)
04/15 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet (Sold Out)
04/17 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega (Sold Out)/(upgraded)
04/19 – Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree (Sold Out)
04/20 – St. Petersburg, RU @ MOD (upgraded)
04/21 – Moscow, RU @ Aglomerat (upgraded)
04/26 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
04/27 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
05/01 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
05/02 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere*
05/03 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Sold Out)
05/04 – Philadelphia. PA @Underground Arts
05/05 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
05/09 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
05/10 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
05/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
05/14 – Portland, OR @Wonder Ballroom
05/15 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
05/17 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
05/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre (Sold Out)
06/07-09 – Austin, TX @ Austin Terror Fest
*second show added