Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with DJ Cheryl Waters, is “Capitol” by Toronto synthpop band Trust from the 2014 album Joyland on Arts & Crafts.
Trust has always been good. Back in 2012 when Robert Alfons and company dropped the debut record TRST, we were seduced by the dark, brooding beats and mountains of synthesizer oozing with attitude and finesse. But with the sophomore record Joyland, Trust overcome good and move right on up into great with ease. On Joyland, Alfons builds on a solid foundation with an expansive vision that rises above and beyond many of the early sonic comparisons tossed his way just a few years ago. Joyland is a dramatically unique synthpop record, with a dynamic emotional draw and a lasting effect on a wide range of listeners. While tracks like “Geryon” and “Rescue, Mister” appease fans of the first record gracefully, Alfons uses sinfully delectable tracks like “Capitol” to prove he has quite a bit more to unload on us before he’s finished.
“Capitol” is the third track on Joyland, and the moment where the driving energy loses all semblance of claustrophobia and turns towards an expansive horizon. Much of Alfons’ sound sounds like the sonic interpretation of Joyland’s cover - a dark tunnel dimly lit by neon light. But with “Capitol”, Alfons tears the roof off to see a marvelous sky above, full of shimmering shooting stars and infinite possibility. Driven by a bright piano and shimmering synth to match, “Capitol” is a major key turn for Trust, that packs every bit of the punch of the rest of their catalogue, while introducing a fresh element of longing and melancholy that makes for a dramatic and emotionally charged experience. Alfons’ vocals tend less on his traditional growl and more to a front-and-center cry for love. The lyrics are quite heartbreaking: “Time after time, I’ll start to forget, as long as I know that’s as good as it gets”. But the message only serves to more brightly illuminate the pop wonder that Alfons has put together here. One of the best tracks we’ve seen so far this year, “Capitol” is a climactic highlight from Joyland and a very, very welcome addition to our Song of the Day podcast.
Trust was in town last month. You can read our review of the show at Barboza here. They’re rumored to return in in the fall. Keep checking Trust’s website and Facebook page for updates and to find more music. For now, watch the video for “Capitol” below, complete with all the dizzying sci-fi majesty that you could expect.