Live Concert Photography: TR/ST with Lydia Ainsworth at Elsewhere 5/3/19
I’ve written quite a bit about the Toronto, ON-born, Los Angeles, CA-based electronic music producer and artist Robert Alfons and his solo recording project TR/ST over the past few years, and as you may recall, Alfons has released two critically and commercially successful full-length albums — 2012’s self-titled album and 2014’s Joyland. Alfons’ sophomore album was a decided change in sonic direction for him, with the material reflecting a pop orientated leaning while being club banging.
Five years have passed since the release of Joyland and in that time, Alfons wrote and recorded material in a farmhouse in Southern Ontario and in Los Angeles, where he has since relocated, and worked with an all-star cast of collaborators on his forthcoming two album effort, Destroyer 1 and Destroyer 2. Maya Postepski, Alfons’ collaborator on his self-titled debut co-wrote and co-produced six of the album’s songs. The Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based producer and electronic music artist also worked with co-producers Lars Stalfors and Damian Taylor to further refine the album’s sound. Interestingly, the key ingredient to creating the album’s material — which will be released on April 19, 2019 and 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 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.”
Alfons along with a backing band played a headlining set at Elsewhere last week that was centered around the material off Destroyer 1 — including the the “Bizarre Love Triangle”-like “Gone,” the industrial house like Maya Postepski collaborations “Unbleached,” and “Colossal” that also featured some of his previously released material. Opening the night was Alfons’ fellow countrywoman, the Toronto-based singer/songwriter, composer and producer Lydia Ainsworth. I caught the show and took photos but before that, Alfons is still on tour to support the new album. Check out the tour dates below — and then check out photos from the show.
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
06/07-09 – AUSTIN, TX | AUSTIN TERROR FEST
Born to a singer/songwriter father and a set designer mother, the Toronto-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer and producer Lydia Ainsworth can trace the origins of her music career to learning cello when she was 10. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in music composition at McGill University — and while there, she began composing scores for student films and was named an Emerging Artist by the Canada Council for the Arts in 2008. In 2011 Ainsworth relocated to New York, where she earned a Master’s in music composition. That year she also composed the score for Matthew Lessner’s The Woods and began writing and recording her debut Right from Real in her New York apartment but eventually completed when she returned to Toronto. Released in 2014 by Arbutus Records, the album was nominated for a Juno Award for Electronic Album of the Year. Building upon a growing profile, CBC Music named her as one of 6 Canadian female producers you need to know. Since then Ainsworth has released two more albums — 2017’s Darling of the Afterglow and her recently released Phantom Forest.