Premiere: TR/ST’s Dark Spectacle “Iris”

The hypnotic video caps off a year of creative highs for the underground prince.

Having crowned himself, at least metaphorically, the “destroyer of everyone” on his two-part album Destroyer’s title track, TR/ST is in destruction-mode no longer. Destroyer Pt. II, released earlier this month, marked an emotional down-shift, with TR/ST’s trademark alien croon offering descriptions of “disassembled hearts” and “shame taking hold.” 

In the vulnerability of those lyrics, taken from lead single “Iris,” TR/ST, a.k.a. Robert Alfons, casts Pt. II as an introspective epilogue to Part I’s synthy nihilism. That duality is apparent in the song’s video, premiering today on V—raw yet immersive in its strobe-heavy visuals. “I think all of the qualities I would use to describe Destroyer Pt. II were part of the visual discussions and moodboards for the ‘Iris’ video,” Alfons tells us. 

Capping off a five-year hiatus, TR/ST’s Destroyer diptych reflects an odyssey of emotional and sonic growth. As the one-man, neo-darkwave outfit told V earlier this year, “I hope [that the listener has] some sort of strong feeling. I think indifference is the worst thing…You don’t need permission from the ‘big person above’ to make a record, put it out, go ahead and do some shows, and connect with people.” 

In directing the video, the artist collective Muted Widows, comprised of Nedda Afsari, Michael Zumaya and Michael Linn, became accomplices in that emotional journey. “We wanted a feeling of warmth and tenderness, but also ones of loneliness, which I think is essential for anyone who wants to go down a path of self-realization and consciousness expansion,” says Muted Windows. “We really strived to [show] the energy that comes with that loneliness, but it’s never negative.” Further visualizing the video’s sense of shadowy unity is an ensemble cast, including artists Sara Cummings, Saturn Rising and Plastic Candy

Watch the video for “Iris” below, and check out TR/ST’s tour dates here.   


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