Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Fust is the project of songwriter Aaron Dowdy, alongside a stellar cast of musical friends. Aaron first started Fust as a home recording project back in 2017, before it shifted into the full-band affair it has become. The music Fust makes is a world for the lonesome and hopeless, playing with the theme of melodrama that underpins so much of the best country-influenced music. Fust’s latest effort, Evil Joy, was recorded sporadically over the last two years, taking in sessions in New York, Eastern Pennsylvania and Lake Gaston, before much of it was put together in a shed in Aaron’s garden. The record is due out later this month via Dear Life Records, and today Fust are premiering their new single When The Trial Ends.
When The Trial Ends arrives on a bed of distant, slightly uneasy noise, that gradually fades into the foreground before being cut through by bright-guitar chords, rumbling bass and waves of delightful slide guitar. That gorgeous initial atmosphere is then punctuated by Aaron’s voice. While it has a hushed quality that seems to always carry a certain melancholy, there’s also a sparkle of optimism here, a feeling that for all the trials life throws your way, you will find a way through them.
Musically, When The Trial Ends is hugely impressive, the sort of easy alt-country sound that bands like Hiss Golden Messenger produce, fused with a certain widescreen, almost cinematic quality. Throughout the track, every tumbling guitar line and every honey-dripped vocal melody seems to carry the story as much as the lyrical content. Listening to Fust, they feel like masters of their craft, musicians who’ve put the hours in to make their music sound this effortlessly simple. As the band explain of the record’s title, there’s an Evil Joy to playing songs of wrongdoing and despair with such tender, gentle beauty. Listening to When The Trial Ends, while there might be evil lurking within, the joy is simply flowing out, waiting to be heard.