Meet Men I Trust, the Montreal band whose ascent is entirely on their own terms
In some ways, Montreal band Men I Trust are as elusive as their music. The outfit are part of the city-wide movement that has thrust Canadian indie artists onto the musical map on a global scale, but their journey has been slightly different.
Made up of bassist Jessy Cason, multi-instrumentalist Dragos Chiriac and vocalist and guitarist Emma Proulx, they released their first self-titled record in 2014. But they’ve kept themselves relatively understated, only coming up for air when the moment is right. This same method runs throughout their music. With smooth, chin-bouncing electronic beats, warm guitars and alluringly subdued vocals, it’s clear that longevity – in all its forms – is an underlying theme in their craft.
At its most spacious, listening to Men I Trust feels like you’re gliding on a never-ending wave; at its tightest, they still provide pockets of time to catch your breath. “We like to use a lot of repetitive movements in melodies and chord progressions to give the songs a prayer-like rhythm,” explains Dragos over Skype. “This commits people more deeply into the song. People can’t avoid reading, so they end up reading the whole story. It’s a game of saying the most with the least words.”
To them, it’s important that no sound is fighting for the same place; everything must reflect the environment in which it was created. That environment is now Quebec, the idyllic French province of Canada that has not only been their home for the past few years, but is also integral to the band’s visual aesthetic. This is especially evident in the music video for their breakout 2016 single Lauren, which features one long, ongoing shot of a woman riding her bike along a foggy mountain road with an unsettlingly calm look on her face. Underneath the shot, the song’s lyrics about realisation and defeat roll out. Dragos tells me that nature’s awe-inspiring beauty, in particular, is a source of inspiration. “We talk a lot about how we play our part in [nature] on a microscopic scale, and how we contribute to the macroscopic one. It’s humbling and reassuring.”
As a band in a public space, Men I Trust’s ascent has been slow, measured and completely self-made. They refuse to sign to a label, they don’t have a press representative, nor are they interested in being managed. “It’s only significant to spread the band’s music and aesthetic – these things need constant work and cannot be given to someone else to do on your behalf,” Dragos asserts, making it clear that this approach isn’t going to change anytime soon. Given their independent success so far, they’ve proved that if you make a quiet sound, people will lean in to listen.
Sounds Like: Groove-laden indie dance bops
Soundtrack For: Delirious summer days
File Next To: TOPS / infinite bisous
Our Favourite Song: Lauren
Where to Find Them: menitrust.bandcamp.com