Joyland (TR/ST album) – Wikipedia

2014 studio album by TR/ST

Joyland is the second studio album by Canadian electronic music project TR/ST, fronted by Robert Alfons. It was released on March 4, 2014 through Arts & Crafts Records in North America.[2] The album debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart.[3]

Three singles have been released to promote the album: “Rescue, Mister”, “Capitol” and “Are We Arc?”, all accompanied by music videos.[4]


The album was developed solely by Robert Alfons since Austra’s Maya Postepski left TR/ST shortly after the release of their debut studio album. Joyland was “written in different places in the world while touring” as opposed to the first album which was primarily developed in Toronto. In Alfons’ opinion that made a big difference, because the album was now influenced by the vast “energy from the live shows” and a boost of self-confidence. Alfons also states that this boost has led him to be “a bit more playful with many aspects of the record”, especially his vocals.[5][6]


Joyland is described as synth-pop,[7][8]cold wave,[9]dark wave, EBM and futurepop.[8] The album’s sound is “gallant, atmospheric, desirably ostentatious,”[10] “often brave”[11] and “lugubrious.”[12]Joyland’s beats and synths have been described as having a “hollow sheen.”[13]

Robert Alfons listed video game soundtracks, acid house and early techno music, Kate Bush, Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins and Lee Hazlewood as influences for Joyland.[14][15] The artist pointed out that on the album, he is “taking risks with vocals, and certain instrumentations, and sounds [he] hated in the past but now embrace[s].”[16]

Unlike TRST (2012), the album was produced, written and engineered solely by Alfons, whereas TR/ST’s debut album was created in a collaboration with Maya Postepski.[7]


The artwork for Joyland has been created by Jenn Kitagawa alongside Robert Alfons and Seth Fluker.[17] Alfons stated that the idea behind the cover was “something like a racetrack. Like a race in a video game.”[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Joyland received generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on 13 reviews.[19]MusicOMH praised the album by stating that “Joyland does an excellent job of sharpening and streamlining Trust’s sound into something even better than that displayed on the debut.”[12]Pitchfork gave the album a score of 6.8, concluding that it shares “many similarities” in comparison to Trust’s previous record, TRST (2012), but “little growth.”[22] Daniel Sylvester of Exclaim! opined, “Although a few tracks (“Geryon,” “Four Gut”) suffer from muddy and unfocused melodies, there are far too many great ideas, quirky earworms and sonic peaks to give any critic reason to lampoon the title of this well-conceived, well-executed album.”[20]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Robert Alfons.

1. “Slightly Floating” 3:34
2. “Geryon” 4:23
3. “Capitol” 4:53
4. “Joyland” 3:18
5. “Are We Arc?” 3:48
6. “Icabod” 4:29
7. “Four Gut” 5:11
8. “Rescue, Mister” 4:31
9. “Lost Souls/Eelings” 4:33
10. “Peer Pressure” 5:20
11. “Barely” 5:25
Total length: 50:04
12. “Mar” 3:03
Total length: 53:07


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Joyland.[17]


  1. ^ Coplan, Chris (7 January 2014). “Listen: Trust’s provocative new single, “Rescue, Mister”. Consequence of Sound.
  2. ^ “news” News item on the official bandpage announcing the album.
  3. ^ “Dance/Electronic Albums”. Billboard. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Sources for the singles’ music videos
  5. ^ Sylvester, Daniel. “Trust – Dancing in the Dark”. Exclaim!. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  6. ^ García, Amaya (March 11, 2014). “Trust Makes Dance Music for a Dark Room”. MTV Iggy. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Porter, Zander. “Album Review: Trust – Joyland”. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved Mar 6, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Savage, Rowan (March 7, 2014). “Trust – Joyland”. Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b Jonze, Tim (3 April 2014). “Trust: Joyland review – ‘The sound of a Berlin pleasure dungeon’. The Guardian.
  10. ^ a b “TRUST – Joyland”. DIY.
  11. ^ a b [1] Heather Phares, ‘Joyland – Trust review,, March 4, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Lee, Tim (22 April 2014). “Trust – Joyland”. MusicOMH.
  13. ^ a b Gieben, Bram. “Trust — Joyland”. The Skinny.
  14. ^ Darville, Jordan (March 6, 2014). “INFLUENTIA: Robert Alfons of Trust on the influences behind Joyland”. Chart Attack. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  15. ^ “5 Minutes With Trust”. Flare. March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  16. ^ Makarova, Irina (July 23, 2012). “True Faith: an interview with Trust”. Electronic Beats. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  17. ^ a b Joyland (CD liner notes). TR/ST. Arts & Crafts. 2014. A&C087.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  18. ^ Nicz, Ania (May 21, 2014). “Wywiad // Trust” (in Polish). Brand New Anthem. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  19. ^ a b “Joyland – Trust”. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Sylvester, Daniel (4 March 2014). “Trust Joyland”. Exclaim!. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  21. ^ “Album Review: Trust – Joyland”. The Line of Best Fit.
  22. ^ a b Thompson, Paul (March 14, 2014). “Trust: Joyland”. Pitchfork. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  23. ^ McGuane, Kenny (March 4, 2014). “Trust: Joyland (Arts & Crafts) Review”. Under the Radar. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  24. ^ “Mar – Bonus Track, a song by TR/ST on Spotify”.