Untourable Album is the ultimate headphone record, best suited for intimate listening.
With time and space to play and experiment during the early days of the pandemic, Men I Trust vocalist Emmanuelle Proulx, guitarist/bassist Jessy Caron, and keyboardist Dragos Chiriac took to the studio like children to a sandbox. Their already malleable style — a mix of soulful grooves with poppy jangle and wispy melodies — gets additional layers and textures on their new release, Untourable Album, that deepen Men I Trust’s sonic palette.
Opener “Organon” is a swoony treat dripping with “honey and sun,” while “Serenade of Water” skips to a trippy beat that could have been an NME chart-topper for Saint Etienne in the 90s. “Shoulders” carries some uncharacteristic gravitas without weighing down Proulx’s sugary whispers, as does “5am Waltz.” Following 2019’s Oncle Jazz (an all-time Canadian best seller on Bandcamp and the album that solidified Men I Trust’s reputation as Canada’s fiercest indie band), Untouchable Album is more a refinement of Men I Trust’s sound than a reinvention. There’s a sense that, with all the studio time available to them and the pressure of being out on the road off their shoulders, atmospheric and moody songs like “Ante Meridiem” and “A Cycle” became the foundation onto which their signature poppier, melodic tunes like “Sugar” were added as flavour. The result is a solid, smooth, and supple collection of songs that feel cohesive and connected, two qualities I found missing from the 24-song-long Oncle Jazz.
The name Untourable Album makes sense in that Men I Trust will be hard-pressed to faithfully reproduce in a live setting many of the lush layers and intricate textures they’ve draped over these addictive, atmospheric melodies. And to their point, that was the intention all along: Untourable Album is the ultimate headphone record, best suited for intimate listening. As the band prepares to hit the road in support of an album they never expected to play live, Men I Trust will not only prove they can tour an untourable album, they are about to assume a new title: the untouchable band.