Montreal indie-pop band Men I Trust brought two sold-out shows to The Roxy this past week. They’ve quickly become one of my favorite bands over the last year or so and it seems like the rest of LA has quickly caught on. I caught their second show Thursday night.
Men I Trust singer Emmanuelle Proulx’s unique raspy vocals are perfectly contrasted by the deep bass grooves of Jessy Cason. Proulx’s voice is reminiscent of early-era Sia, and when I first heard their hit “Tailwhip” it made me think of the Zero 7 track “In the Waiting Line”. Men I Trust have a similarly sexy vibe, with many of their tunes using the slow burn approach.
The band is even a favorite of Tyler, the Creator, who included them on last year’s Camp Flog Gnaw lineup despite them really being the only act that fit that indie-pop genre. Thursday night, they kicked things off with “Break for Lovers”, a record from 2015 when Proulx wasn’t even the band’s only singer. On that track, Helena Deland (a great singer-songwriter in her own right) sings the vocals. But it fits Proulx’s voice just as well and was a great way to settle into the vibe of the group.
One of my favorite tracks is “Lauren”, and it got a great reaction on Thursday night. The bass line is so seductive and inviting, with Proulx’s vocals fluttering above it. The way she sings “Cause I can’t stay forever, ahhhh” gets me every time.
The group closed their set out with their latest single “Say, Can You Hear”, one of the band’s most uptempo songs. It almost has a ’90s post-grunge vibe to it (a la Better Than Ezra or early Goo Goo Dolls), particularly in the chorus.
Men I Trust will be opening for Clairo as part of the Goldenvoice Presents April series on Thursday, April 11 — the day before Coachella weekend one begins. The Montreal group will also play consecutive Sundays at Coachella 2019.
Words by Mark Ortega
Photos by Justin Higuchi