I tend to categorize indie music into a few loose genres – the ambient, synth-ridden electronica; the acoustic, sit-in-the-grasses lazy afternoon listening; the makeshift rock-n-roll garage band are a few examples. But sometimes a band will come along that will surprise me; it just doesn’t quite fit into one of these categories, and usually it turns out to be one of my favorites.
Trust Fund is one of these bands.
Hailing from Bristol, UK, their new album, We have always lived in The Harolds, was digitally released in the UK in June. While only nine songs long, it takes the listener on quite the adventure of love, loss, and life. Ellis Jones, the creative mind and only full-time member, describes it as a “total bummer but in a good way.” I have to agree, and it’s not something that can be fully explained (but I can try).
The first song, “wwsd” starts off with a high, distant whistle that could be mistaken for birdsong until it builds into something more like a fire alarm. Breaking into a slow rock jam with a lovely melody, Jones sings about a girl named Sophie who he could have possibly loved once. It transitions flawlessly into “Would that be an adventure?” which provides the perfect auto-tune fix as Jones’s voice echoes smoothly over an electric organ. A few of the tunes, like “Together” are reminiscent of 60s beach rock, but I especially love the lyrics, “Me and my baby that’s all we want; all we want is to not exist.” They manage to sound upbeat and happy, but combine this wonderful sound with impactful, melancholy lyrics.
While listening to the vast mix of genres and discovering a lack of a way to classify this DIY indie music, I think I’ve fallen for Jones’s ability to simply make it all work.
Honestly, this combination of somber directness, ambient tones, and crystal, grooving guitars is something I’ve been looking for for a long time. It reminds me of playing my heart out on an old, out of tune piano. The chords may be dissonant and harsh at times, but the meaning and heart behind the song are golden.
The tape closes with my favorite song, “Whalih.” Even after the variety of sounds ranging from electronically warped to rad guitar solos, this simple guitar and vocal tune sends chills down my spine. “I borrowed your headphones; they’re better than mine… I was right to focus not on music, but on my life… What were we searching for? A life without metaphor….” Something about the hopeless glance into the past and more hopeful look into the future really resonates with me. “We pass away our time, we do away with it; I’m not ashamed of it.” We waste time every day doing nothing – but why do we do nothing if we can’t be proud of it?
While you can download the album in the UK now, everyone in the US can buy Trust Fund’s We have always lived in The Harolds on September 2nd. Go ahead and give it a listen, and enjoy the thoughtfulness behind the sound.