Author: Madeline Thomas
Photo credit @bbyguz on Instagram
Falling for the lead singer is such a cliché. Who can resist their “every stage is my bedroom” eyes, or the classic pick between the teeth move? The way they hold the mic stand? That could be you.
As a *liberal* and a ~feminist~, I feel it is important to clarify that my admiration for Emma of Men I Trust is not due solely to her cute pigtails. Admittedly, yes, that’s a large part of it; I mean, c’mon people. Pigtails? I’d like to see you postpone blushing when the lead singer of a dream-pop band is donning braided pigtails. In all seriousness, she’s not my type, but the music she’s creating with bandmates Jessy and Drago is.
Men I Trust has a sweet, soft sound; more subdued music doesn’t always make for a great live concert, but the Montreal trio put on a captivating performance. The Barboza show sold out, and rightly so. Never have I seen a band look so blissfully relaxed whilst performing live. Perhaps it’s the tender quality of their music, or the long-enduring friendship among the trio that is responsible for their sheepish smiles and the resulting swoons of their audience.
Their music feels both happy and sad – not experienced as separate emotions, but both all at once. Confused? So am I. How can a song about unrequited love (“Show Me How”) make me smile? Emma’s writing leaves me pondering the acceptance of emotions. Listening to a Men I Trust track is a trancelike state of relaxation, one ripe with pleasant sentimentality. The lyrics are wistful and endearing; I left the show feeling a bit giddy, and above all, pleased to know that yes, some bands do sound that good live.
Emma sings in hushed half-whispers, yet the sound was clear and calming. The melodic quality of her recorded vocals is no audio engineering trick – she really does have an amazing voice. Subtle flex: the band released a compilation of live tracks, available for purchase on Bandcamp. Their sound is just as dreamy live as it is in studio. Jessy on bass and Dragos—who recently celebrated a birthday in Aquarius season—on keyboard, recreated the head bobbing, chin bouncing sounds of their most recent singles. “Lauren” and “Tailwhip” seemed to be crowd favorites; these singles, released earlier in 2018, will probably pop up again on the highly anticipated full-length Men I Trust album, due spring of this year.
Their album is “95% done” according to a post on the band’s Instagram. Fans can expect the release once Men I Trust completes the last leg of their US Tour with Michael Seyer, whose opening set I missed, but overheard praise for whilst lingering at the merch table. In the meantime, hopefully Emma will release new music as a solo artist under the name Bernache. Her solo project is more lo-fi than the breathy vocals in Men I Trust, but the minimalist production style persists. The single “Your Name” is all Emma has released. Follow her, and the band, on Instagram for more updates about new music, merch, and doodles from Jessy.
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