Men I Trust's 'Untourable Album' Is a Perfect Headphones Record
Published Sep 08, 2021When Men I Trust were writing their fourth album during pandemic lockdowns, they naturally assumed they would never be able to tour in support of it — hence the name Untourable Album. But even if the title has already been proven false by the Quebec group's upcoming slate of shows, it holds a second meaning, since these lush studio arrangements will be impossible to ever recreate live. With layered synths and rich bass tones that feel simultaneous full-bodied and feather-light, Untourable Album is a meticulously made album that is perfect for late-night headphone listening.
At 13 songs and 37 minutes, Untourable Album is around half the length of 2019's sprawling Oncle Jazz. And while its pop songs aren't quite as catchy and immediate as past highlights like "Tailwhip" or "Say Can You Hear," it has none of the past album's bloat. The focus here is on swooning soundscapes rather than big hooks.
The mid-album run of "Before Dawn," "Serenade of Water" and "5am Waltz" has a sleepwalking strut that evokes vintage Boards of Canada, while the sublime "Ante Meridiem" and "Shoulders" recall the way Air blend acoustic guitars and futuristic electronics. "Sugar" recalls Men I Trust's past pop highlights but with added sonic details, like intricate bass overdubs that dance between channels.
Untourable Album is smooth and subtle, with slow tempos and reverb-kissed melodies that will sound great on a playlist of mood music. But with such beautiful keyboard tones and intricately woven guitar melodies, this is an album worth getting immersed in. (Independent)