Saccharine vocals spit trancelike over minimal backbeats on 18+’s debut full-length album, Trust, released on London’s Houndstooth Records. The pair, marked by the monikers Boy and Sis, have been recording and releasing EPs anonymously since their 2011 inception. With the release of Trust, the duo came forth as Justin and Samia, a pair who first came into contact while attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and have collaborated online ever since.
The fourteen-song release features a strange mash up of sexy and sinister, both lyrically and sonically, and is as haunting as it is catchy. Elements of trap, R&B, trance, and house all coexist in this glaringly post-Internet debut without creating any sense of musical chaos. Heavy dubbing on vocals on and off throughout the album, a technique first introduced on “Midnight Lucy,” creates an ongoing impression of words spoken from underwater, from the grave, from someone calling in disguise. This uneasiness and creeping feeling of fear makes explicitly seductive tracks oddly more attractive as the album goes on. Tracks like “Club God” and “Drawl” lean toward a darker, more industrial minimalism and conjure up feelings of shadowed grittiness mixed with glamour as Sis sings lyrics like, “Fuck you, pass that cognac,” before detailing sex with a practiced nonchalance. Both the album’s single “Crow,” and a later cut titled, “Dry,” feature thick, dancy production and would be at home on the speakers of a nightclub thumping at full capacity.
Trust is a sonic experiment in sex, grunge, and excess–something meant to live in the bones. Stream the album below.