TR/ST – Destroyer

Canada’s sleazy synth prodigy returns…

One of Canada’s electronic music gems re-emerged earlier this year with a new song and talk of a new album. ‘Bicep’ delivered the trademark sleazy synths and unsettling sounds that made TR/ST such a captivating act over the course of 2 previous albums.

Referring to ‘Bicep’ TR/ST’s Robert Alfons commented at the time: “This song and much of the album was written in isolation in a farmhouse in rural Canada. It’s about the journey of a figure — essentially a narcissist — fighting with ideas of impurity and worthlessness. It’s about the struggle between accepting and resisting shame, as well as an expression of sexual fantasies.”

Now the ‘Goth Eeyore’ has returned with a new song – and a new video – in the shape of ‘Destroyer’, which premiered on Nowness this week. There’s a departure of sorts here for Alfons, with a much more restrained composition. It’s a more nocturnal affair peppered with reedy intermissions, although Alfons’ grimy vocals are present and correct.

The video itself is produced by, and stars, choreographer Ryan Heffington. It charts a journey through a late night streetscape which is interspersed with oddly unsettling choreography. Heffington has worked with the likes of Sia, Lykke Li, Florence and the Machine and Arcade Fire in times past. He’s also responsible for the choreography in the bonkers Netflix series The OA, in which interpretive dance is actually one of the plot elements in the cult series.

All this points to the next TR/ST album outing, which is scheduled to drop sometime in 2018. It’s also looking likely that original TR/ST collaborator Maya Postepski (Austra, Princess Century) is back in the frame. Postepski has made a few cryptic posts on social media in recent months, some of which refer to Alfons, but which also feature video and photo posts that show a remarkably Alfons-like figure in the background.

Postepski is no slouch in producing her own music either. Although she’s achieved a high profile for bashing the skins as part of Austra, she’s managed to craft a compelling sound under her Princess Century moniker. The idea that both Alfons and Postepski are once again joining forces suggests great things for TR/ST’s 2018 outings.