London based musician, filmmaker and artist Trustfall invites the listener into his intricate world for the first time with debut release ‘KNOTS’. As a double single release, it comprises of title track ‘Knots’ and a cover of Einstürzende Neubauten’s ‘The Garden’.
Floating between LA, London, Paris and Berlin, the enigmatic Trustfall has honed his craft as a prominent songwriter and instrumentalist, collaborating with the likes of Lafawndah, Kelsey Lu, Holly Herndon and Sega Bodega, whilst composing soundtracks for film and runway, as well as being the producer of acclaimed guest mixes on NTS and Rinse FM.
Mentored under avant-garde composer and artist William Basinski and the late cultural theorist Mark Fisher, his solo material is described as “tensely-wound pop songs that resonates between the steely noir of the soundtrack of Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’, and the dragon-chasing blues of Sade.”
‘Knots’ is an original from Trustfall’s forthcoming self-titled album. Recorded in Daniel Aged’s studio in LA, the track features him playing bass and pedal steel guitar, after he improvised over isolated parts of the track. Written alongside Will Boston (co-writer with Kelela and Kelsey Lu), it establishes Trustfall within the circle of arch-crooners such as Mark Hollis and David Sylvian.
Inspired by the construction of classical music, he explains: “The chords in the hook are nicked from a Bach chorale, reharmonized and fractured… every time I go back to one of his hymn arrangements I’m blown away by how they are so simple but infinitely complex.”
“It’s a song about letting go,” he continues, “of control, or the idea of control so that you can see and be seen in a more unguarded way. The sound of the song is a sort of wrestling match with the resistance in that process, but also the sensuality you can find in it as well.”
The second track ‘The Garden’ is a sub-heavy cover of Einstürzende Neubauten’s medievalist classic. Arranged with Trustfall’s close collaborator Lafawndah, it evokes an unlikely collaboration between grime influences and late-period Earth.
On choosing to cover the track, he describes how “my friend, performer Franziska Aigner, suggested this song to me. I was amazed, it’s a real early pop tune but performed with this icy post-punk minimalism with quite psychedelic lyrics.”
After intensifying the drama of the track and taking inspiration from the “baroque textures executed in a ruthless, spacious way” within grime music, “Lafawndah came in and arranged it, bringing more narrative, depth and dimension. Her touch elevated it to be more cinematic.”
Trustfall has also recently appeared in a performance alongside Lafawndah for contemporary art centre Lafayette Anticipations’ new nocturnal performance series CONCORDIA 01, where they “follow the red thread between Beverley Glenn Copeland, Throbbing Gristle, Scott Walker, Pentangle, and Brigitte Fontaine + Areski Belkacem. By turns terse, expansive, sensual and scorched, these songs are explored for their mystery and playfulness.” He has also been working in collaboration with Sega Bodega.
Both ‘Knots’ and ‘The Garden’ are exciting previews into the elaborate network of influences and ideas that permeate Trustfall’s work, and the prospect of a debut album promises the continuation of his unique reframing of pop music.
‘KNOTS’ is available on all online platforms from 20th April.