After 2014’s split EP with Welsh noise-pop quartet Joanna Gruesome expectations were very high with me for the debut album from Trust Fund. My hope was that Ellis Jones is a songwriting maverick, effortlessly sitting in his bedroom churning out one high quality song after another. Was I right? Well, not a million miles away. Any of the three songs from that EP would sit very comfortably on this album and would probably be stand out tracks but this album demonstrates that there’s plenty more to come.
No One’s Coming For Us is Trust Fund’s first release for Turnstile Music with whom they recently signed. The album title strongly hints at the independence Trust Fund demonstrate. We’re out here on our own, we’re not going to be rescued, let’s do what we need to do and do it ourselves. The approach is 100% lo-fi, no gloss whatsoever. It’s all the better for it. It’s similar in style to the recent King of Cats album (released on the related Reeks of Effort label – reviewed here) but sounds more accessible. There’s a couple of choruses that could easily be turned into Weezer type indie dance floor fillers but for now it’s kept simple, warts and all.
One of the majesties of Trust Fund’s songs is Jones’ ability to write about sadness, heartbreak, fear and anxiety but present it in a way that offers hope. Even melancholic songs leave you with a sense that it’s all going to be okay. Album opener ‘Sadness’ is an example, an upbeat indie rock jangle with Ellis singing his sombre words in a typical high pitch, “You are calling me to tell me you are home and safe / and that you don’t wanna die anymore / that you don’t wanna die now but you did before”. Later on he sings “So let’s deal with this / let’s talk about it / Let’s sit down in the same house for a bit / Let’s deal with this in our twenties / before it goes too far”. The album is littered with similar lyrics and messages and the music reflects that, often melancholic but never depressing.
There’s a really strong knack for picking out great melodies throughout the record. The regular use of several other vocalists to add harmonies provides a lot of charm. On ‘Idk’ singing duties are shared with Roxy Brennan in a break-up question and answer style, sweetly sung over a few acoustic chords with no percussion. Songs with no percussion are common on this record, they sound more introspective, just a guitar and voices. ‘Stomach’ follows this pattern and sounds particularly desolate.
They do like to rock sometimes though. ‘Cut Me Out’ is pleasingly catchy and probably a lot of fun to play. This song, along with ‘Stomach’ are good examples of where the big rock-out guitar sections could have been polished up but thankfully haven’t been. ‘Essay to Write’ is a wonderful indie-pop slice about trying to find time in life for the good things in between the supposedly important and stressful things. ‘Jumper’ starts off sounding childlike but develops into the noisiest song present.
Trust Fund lo-fi earnestness may not appeal to everyone but it’s pushing it to say they’re an acquired taste. There are great songs here to be discovered and treasured. The lasting impression I get from this record is that Ellis Jones is a guy you’d like to have on your side. His songs showcase a wonderful sense of empathy to the extent that he probably cares too much about everyone around him and not enough about himself. Hmmm. I know someone like that. I’ll stop second guessing someone’s personality now and leave you to go and check out this album. You definitely should.
No One’s Coming For Us by Trust Fund is released on CD / Vinyl on the 9th Feb 2015 on Turnstile Music – order here
If cassette tape is your format of choice the album is also available on Reeks of Effort -order here
You can download the album and check out tour dates here