American indie-rock artist The Trust Fund Kids has embarked on a new musical direction. Released earlier today, latest single ‘Hate Me Till You Hate Me Know’ swirls between psychedelia and electro-pop, doused in subtle hints of the artist’s indie-rock roots.
I talked to Kevin Connor, the man behind The Trust Fund Kids, about his influences behind the new musical direction, and how ‘Hate Me Till You Hate Me No More’ came about.
“This song itself came together pretty fast,” states Connor. “But it’s history and impetus was pretty long and complicated.”
After writing the first two albums, Connor went to college in Philadelphia for a year, where he began experimenting with synthesisers in Garageband on his phone.
“At the end of the Spring semester, I took a break from college and went home back to New Jersey,” he explains, noting he was “torn between what was expected of me vs. what I wanted to do. But I knew I loved making music.”
He discusses his discovery of Logic Pro whilst experimenting with his debut album, ‘this time next year’, finding that “songs poured out of [him] and [he] was incredibly happy, creatively.”
To create ‘Hate Me Till You Hate Me No More’ Connor states “I was trying to keep the melodies as simple as possible, and rhythmic,” whilst he added synths and organs to fast drum beats.
Connor notes that his latest single ‘struck’ him melodically and lyrically, saying “this was pre ‘Thank U Next’, but it reminds me a lot of that sort of cheeky, playful phrase.”
Although his routes lie in indie-rock, he says “I made a conscious effort to use as little guitar as possible. I wanted to sort of break away from the standard rock thing.”
“There’s a great Bowie quote where he says something along the lines of needing to be in a state of semi-discomfort to write good stuff and I’d agree with that. You do have to give yourself a little bit of a push. Everyone who’s passionate about what they do, I’m sure, looks for new perspectives. The goal I guess is to keep growing,” explains Connor.
Connor also discussed his inspirations behind the change in musical direction, saying “it’s funny because my electronic/synthpop album was always a bucket list record. It was like a record I wanted to make someday. I got into indie rock the same time I got into synthpop, when I was 15.”
He regards MGMT as his prime influence, along with the likes of Vampire Weekend, The Beatles, Blur, and Kanye West.
“This song in particular felt like Nirvana through the prism of MGMT and Vampire Weekend and some Bleachers,” he says, “but instead of the noisy, avant-garde guitar feedback on In Utero it was weirdo glitchy synths.“
“But, at the end of the day, I do consider this the final part in the loose trilogy of these three albums. They’re definitely connected.”
Connor states that he’ll keep the new music direction, however he’s keen to throw in a few surprises on the way. “I like to put in what I call left hooks in the track listing,” he explains. “Unexpected songs that help the record get cohesive but not monotonous.”
“Like Polly on Nevermind, an acoustic ballad after five big rock songs. Something unexpected. Be Cool and Hello My Friend would be two examples. And both of the left hooks on this album are singles. But it’s all very synthy, poppy, kind of weird, more sparse in comparison to the last two albums.”
The singer notes he’s planning to release more singles every couple of months, fitting them in where he sees best.
As for an album, Connor states “nothing’s set in stone release-wise, but the album’s 100 percent done.”
“It’s very concise, about 45 minutes and it should be coming not too far away. I want to give the singles all some breathing room. But it shouldn’t be too long of a wait, because I’m always probably the most excited person about a new TFK album.”
Listen to the track here: