At first listen, the sophomore effort of Toronto’s Trust doesn’t appear to make many huge leaps. This speaks, more than anything, to the fully formed nature of his sulky, synth-goth debut masterpiece, TRST. Joyland definitely holds on to the moody ‘80s acid-house atmosphere, but repeated listens reveals a broader scope and an equally rewarding listen, compared to its predecessor.

Joyland starts off humbly enough, through the ambling of the aptly titled “Slightly Floating.” From here on out, the album picks up the pace and remains quite flawless throughout. It’s hard to pick a track to focus on, as the album is riddled with stunner after stunner. The standout is “Icabod” which harks back a bit to TRST with its brooding synth lines twisting around dynamic vocals.

The thing that really makes Trust work — both TRST and Joyland — is how frontman Robert Alfons’ uniquely raspy vocals cut through the cold and murky textures and bubble over in a rush of musical emotion. This is an album for more than fans of dance music — or any other genre, for that matter. It’s an album for anyone who lives and dies between the notes of emotionally drawing music.

By Cory Jones

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