"Troth is unknown colours, mist-soaked dreamscapes, strange misshapen cities belonging to forgotten lands. Troth is also a pop duo, though not of the kind nowadays subjugated by the algorithm. Forget the Curse is the group’s best demonstration yet that somewhere in the murky fields between song and sound, there is a lot of untilled soil.
There are elements from previous recordings here: the diaphanous synth-pop of Oak Corridor; the bleary hypnagogic ambience of Flaws in the Glass and Small Movements in Radiance. But what previously clocked as two extremes lock together on Forget the Curse, resulting in a record that skirts the fringes of dour folk, glistening candle-lit pop, sublime atmospherics, and even a haunting dalliance with groggy downtempo mid-’90s trip-hop. The textural palette is wide and often surprising: Looped piano, spectral reverberated saxophone, burnished synth basslines, and a whole lot more that’s unrecognisable.
While intrepid in spirit, Troth is also marked by an intimacy born of the duo’s flair for leaving so much space in their productions. Forget the Curse sounds as if transmitted from a great distance, but like the dream logic it so often resembles, there are moments of startling clarity amid the fug. The flowing pop of Valley of Palms and Amarant offer oblique perspectives on familiar forms, elevated by Amelia Besseny’s celestial vocals. Meanwhile, Nettles Silver Lining and Days Become a Circle feel like waking in the night to a familiar, yet strangely-lit room.
Forget the Curse comes with the mood of a new beginning for Troth. But if the Newcastle group’s history is any indication, the next record will feel like a new beginning too. It’s best to savour this moment while it lasts