The following was written during an internship with the podcast department at Mushroom Group where I wrote a series of articles about each episode of Some of My Best Work. Due to a website redesign none were published. These were left unedited.
Adalita is a musician from Geelong who shot to stardom as part of 90s rock group Magic Dirt.
She said Trust Is Rust is her best work.
The song appeared on her second solo album All Day Venus, released in 2013.
Turning a bad experience into a great song is all in a day’s work for Adalita.
“To make something as beautiful as music out of chaos, I think it’s great”, she said.
While writing Trust Is Rust, Adalita channelled feelings of intense hurt and betrayal.
“This person I was seeing was very attached to this other woman, but I was obviously still attached to him. So I wrote this song in response to that betrayal.”
“The bright side is that it produced this song, which is like one of my proudest, most glittering moments of my songwriting.”
The song opens with, “You let the cat out of the bag / You had to lie to all your friends / And now I sit here on the floor / I can’t hide you anymore.”
The lyrics came to her as she sat with her guitar singing about her situation.
“Everything kind of just happened simultaneously. The person I was with just kind of spilled their guts, and it’s pretty much describing what the whole situation was about. I just felt like I couldn’t trust this person anymore.”
Looking back, Adalita said she was proud something good came out of the situation.
For her, Trust Is Rust contains a history of that relationship, as well as the pain that she felt in the end.
“People can really feel that pain in the song, there’s so much feeling in it. It’s this piece of art, but behind all that, it’s got a lot of energetic information encoded in it.”
Half of the album was written in Sydney, but as her relationship came to an end Adalita moved to Melbourne where she completed the recordings.
The move saw an unlikely collaborator join the sessions.
“I’d seen this woman busking in the Bourke Street Mall. Her name’s Willow and she’s this really awesome violin player with effects pedals and things, and I just asked her, ‘do you want to come into my studio and work on my record?’ So all those string parts, she played them all.”
Trust Is Rust was one of the first songs her record label heard, and their response reassured her she was onto something great.
“When I first played it to my record label guy, he was just like, ‘You’ve got this record, this is awesome.’ It’s really hard to please a record label person because they’ve heard so much music, it’s really hard to get them excited. So I knew I had something.”
The song has become a highlight of her career, and she makes sure to always include it in live sets.
Even if it makes audiences cry.
“Every time I play this song live, people know it, it’s the song they want to hear. They’re always like ‘we cried in the chorus’ and I’m like ‘I’m sorry’.”
“It’s a real anchor point in the set. I can’t believe I wrote it.”
The song set a benchmark for what she could achieve, something she’s conscious of as she’s writing her next album.
“The thing I take away from that is, can I write a better song than that? I don’t know. But I hope to still write really good tunes in the future, and with the next record, there’s a couple of tunes that nudge up against Trust is Rust.”
Adalita has been posting updates to Instagram teasing her third album.
But anyone hoping for an extended edition of her previous releases will be disappointed to learn there’s nothing in the vaults.
“I don’t keep anything. As soon as an album comes out, I delete everything. I rip up all the notes and all the lyrics and all my scrapbooks. I feel weighed down if I have things like that around. There’ll never be a scrapbook of all my notes and things like that. I just want the shiny end product.”