REVIEW: Men I Trust at First Unitarian Church

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WRITTEN BY: AnnaMarie Otor

Men I Trust made a stop in Philadelphia at First Unitarian Church on March 13 as a part of their “Oncle Jazz” tour. The indie dream pop band hails from Montreal, and is comprised of Emma Proulx (vocals and guitar), Dragos Chiriac (drums), and Jessy Caron (bass). The group has been playing their way around the United States/Canada since early February, with plans to reach Europe starting in May.


Formed in 2014, members Dragos and Jessy met in high school, and reconnected a few years later while at Laval University. Releasing their debut self titled album in 2014, the work included a slew of features as well as an introduction to their tantalizing dream pop sound. The then duo met Emma through a mutual friend in 2015, and released their sophomore record Headroom that same year. Their upcoming third album, Oncle Jazz, was to be released last month, but has been slightly delayed. Asserting on their Instagram in late February that the album is “95% ready,” with plans to wrap it up after their slew of US dates, fans can expect the release sometime soon.

Opening acts for the show included iOSnowtiger as well as Michael Seyer. The former is a trio from Los Angeles, comprised of vocalist Noah, bassist Julian, and guitarist Justin. Captivating the room with their lo-fi/R&B fusion of beats, their short but sweet set had everyone entranced. Coupled with Noah’s nervous but excited energy, iOSnowtiger’s refreshingly cool set was an exceptional start to the night.

Next on the bill, Michael Seyer performed a short set. A jazzy bedroom pop artist from Gardena, California, he has two full length albums under his belt: Ugly Boy released in 2015, and Bad Bonez released in 2018. Taking the stage with his gold & glittering guitar along with an additional five piece band, their close camaraderie translated into an effortlessly glossy stage presence. In particular, his saxophonist Jason Ayala was a delight to watch and hear during several of Michael Seyer’s songs. Closing with popular hit, “Lucky Love,” off of his sophomore album, fans were instantly singing along with him, happily clinging onto his last moments on stage.

When Men I Trust emerged, the audience was promptly prepared for them to close out the night. Despite having some sound issues on stage early on slightly delaying their start, it was long forgotten when they began with their popular single “Show Me How.” Immediately exciting the crowd with the familiar, subdued tune, Emma Proulx’s vocals truly shined within the small venue.

Engagement of the crowd was high, with a few audience members giving constant praise to bassist Jessy Caron and also excitedly inquiring about the release of the third album. Giving a brief update, Emma estimated that it was 97% done and almost ready for release to the world at that point in time. Her brief update was met with enthusiastic cheers before leading into the next few songs.

Standout performances from the evening included “Tailwhip,” and “Seven.” The former is one of their more upbeat and slightly funkier songs. The bass and beat provided by Jessy and Dragos, respectively, complement each other in a pleasing way. The latter song is a nearly perfect tranquil, lowkey summer tune that seemingly transported all present into the midst of a bigger picture.

Men I Trust were a truly charming band to watch, driven by simple rhythms and mellow vocals that are even better live than listening otherwise. Their rising popularity as a band has granted them opportunities such as playing at festivals like Tyler the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw in 2018. Additionally, they are currently sporting an upcoming first Coachella appearance this April, portraying they are definitely a band on an upward trajectory for commercial success in the coming future.

Keep a close eye out for their upcoming album, Oncle Jazz, coming soon!

Setlist:

  1. Show Me How
  2. Ponderosa
  3. Lauren
  4. Humming Man
  5. Native
  6. You Deserve This
  7. Seven
  8. Thirsty
  9. Tailwhip
  10. Days
  11. I Hope To Be Around
  12. Punk/I Hope

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