Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Men I Trust - 'Oncle Jazz'

Men I Trust is an indie band from Montreal.  I first came across their seductive sounds while routinely listening to Real Estate Radio on Pandora.   I am a huge fan of Real Estate's abandoned mall rock sound, which emphasizes a sort of collective loneliness. And I find myself gravitating toward the band's music when I am desiring something melodic and chill, without feeling like I am stuck on the endless loop of a monotonous spa playlist.

In the course of listening to hours' worth of Real Estate radio while working or commuting, the algorithm had played Men I Trust's single, 'Show Me How,' several times; and each time I heard it, it resonated deeply:  Slow funky bass, Francophone-accented vocals, and spacey guitar amounted to a sonic smorgasbord this old soul couldn't get enough of.  

'You Deserve This' is another song the station played from time to time.  That track is consistent with the theme of steamy dream pop. 

When I was really lucky, the Pandora algorithm dropped 'Porcelain,' from time to time.  This song is what Failure might sound like if they had a female vocalist, in case you were wondering.

Based on the overwhelming impressiveness of these three tracks, I recently attempted to purchase the vinyl record from which they originate from, and I found many locations were out of stock of the album.  I checked out the secondhand market on Ebay and Discogs, and found the prices were greatly inflated.  So, I ultimately tracked down a record store that could backorder it for me for a decent price, but I would have to wait at least eight weeks for the pressing to complete and be available for pick up.  I easily relented and made the purchase despite the long wait, as this LP is just that good. 

But don't worry; I didn't go to all this trouble of tracking down a pressing of Oncle Jazz--yes, that is the aforementioned album's title--without enacting some due diligence.  I have been able to stream the whole production in Hi-fidelity using Qobuz, and every single track delivers.  In fact, the album is organized somewhat as a faux radio station, similar to what The Weeknd did a few years ago with Dawn FM.  For example, Track 1 is in bumper format, reminding the listener they are hearing "Oncle Jazz."  And Track 24 features a funked out Muzak interlude reminiscent of free form FM broadcasts from decades ago.  In sum, the album is a complete work of art in which each track blends perfectly into the next.  

If my hype on this band has intrigued you, I have included the video for 'Show Me How' in the player below. Enjoy!