Performance: Limited Clear Yellow Vinyl LP


Release date: 13 September, 2024

The 4th full-length studio album by Robert Alfons aka TR/ST (fka Trust), Performance, sinks even further into the nasty synth-pop psychodrama that the project has pioneered and, finally, perfected across over a decade of evolution. Recorded in Los Angeles, the songs seethe with dread, lust, reckoning, and abandon, backlit by the light pollution of a thousand dead end city streets. Alfons co-produced the collection with versatile composer and producer Nightfeelings, achieving a thick, smoky balance of eerie synths, fog machine low end, and bruised, crooning voice.

The title alludes to a friend’s offhand remark about Alfons’ intrinsically performative nature. The opener, “Soon,” swells to life with hymnal electronics before kicking through the dance floor with a huge new wave hook, spiked with caustic kiss-off lyrics (“Asleep I still say it aloud / Scared stiff it’s all around / We never did call it off, now our organs dried / Scared stiff to stone, you liar”). The music moves between beauty and bitterness, anthem and anguish, the sound of melancholia gone massive. On track after track, Alfons wields pop dynamics and brooding production wizardry like a weapon, spiraling through a roll call of singles – “All At Once,” “The Shore,” “Dark Day,” “Boys of LA.” Throughout, there’s a sense of emotional turmoil elevated to strange heights, stained by guilt and ghosts and the memory of those wronged and those still unforgiven.

As a world unto itself, Performance is persuasive, immersive, and intoxicating, at the threshold of stirring and disturbing. Alfons’ voice is the anchor in the storm, singing a collage of impressions and confessions with a smeared, stream of consciousness logic. He’s both observer and instigator, performer and playwright, liberated by the stage and the night: “Now we see the rotten mind / It’s eye to eye and mysteries/ Sail your boat for shore / I sit by the window waiting for it.”


A1. Soon
A2. Regret
A3. All at Once
A4. The Shore
A5. Boys of LA

B1. Clowned
B2. Dark Day
B3. Performance
B4. Warp

Vinyl LP
Dais Records