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 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.”
“Gone,” one of Destroyer‘s album singles is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, stuttering beats, a tight motorik groove, a soaring and incredibly anthemic hook — but the song may arguably be one of the most accessible, pop orientated songs of his growing catalog, as it features a swooning and urgent Romanticism that recalls New Order‘s “Bizarre Love Triangle.”
Directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Jordan Hemingway and starring Alfons, the recently released video for “Gone” was shot in a cavern in the hills. Employing a visceral intimacy, in which the viewer is sharing a claustrophobic space with Alfons, the video switches back and forth between Alfons bathed in candlelight and brilliant burst of color and lens flare. “Shot in a cavern in the hills of Los Angeles, the music video for ‘Gone’ is a visual homage to an era of music videos I grew up to,” Jordan Hemingway says of the recently released video. “The jarring angles and visuals mixed with vivid color are meant to match the haunting vocals that sit beautifully over an upbeat sound.“ Alfons adds, “Filmed over the course of one weekend, I think Jordan did a fantastic job capturing the feeling of desperation and shame in this intimate video.”
Alfons is currently on a lengthy North American tour to support the new album, which includes a May 3, 2019 stop at Elsewhere. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
04/26 – TORONTO, ON | PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE
04/27 – MONTREAL, QC | CORONA THEATRE
05/01 – BOSTON, MA | BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL
05/03 – BROOKLYN, NY | ELSEWHERE
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
06/07-09 – AUSTIN, TX | AUSTIN TERROR FEST