TOY – ” Energy / The Willo “

Posted: September 16, 2018 in MUSIC
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Brighton, England’s Toy have released their first new music since their third LP, 2016’s Clear Shot.

The krautrock five-piece unveiled two new tracks, “The Willo” and “Energy,” for a limited edition 12-inch single, out Friday, Sept. 14, via Tough Love Records. The 12-inch is the band’s debut release for the label and it will also serve as the first taste of their unnamed forthcoming fourth studio album, which will be released in January 2019.

Toy have earned a reputation as a band of integrity, virtuosity and taste, with Tom, Maxim, Dominic, Charlie and (joining in 2015) Max creating a sound that is embedded in the underground tradition, yet distinctly their own. Now here comes a two-track twelve-inch on Tough Love, a foretaste of a forthcoming album in January 2019, which marks a new dawn for this most singular of bands. The Willo is a dreamlike, seven-minute glide, redolent of a forest at sunset and just as pretty, but not without hints of malevolence. Maxim’s fingerpicking acoustic melds with electric twang from Dominic, and a whirling organ from Max Oscarnold gives this elegant creation an extra layer of disorientation and depth. “People appear to have seen Will-o’-the-wisp, a mysterious green-blue light, over the centuries. It generally means something ominous is about to happen”, says Tom.

“The Willo” opens with electronic percussion and acoustic guitar as the band’s ghostly ringleader and frontman Tom Dougall warns of a sinister ray of light, which has become woven into English folklore. The song hovers with Max Oscarnold’s (also of Proper Ornaments) whispering, psychedelic synths, twinkling guitars and Dougall’s eerie yet calming vocals, which culminate into a slowly unfolding, hauntingly beautiful track that highlights what the band does best: scrupulous writing and musicianship with equal parts brooding and dazzling.

Then there is Energy, which lives up to its name with thunderously metronomic drums from Charlie Salvidge and a ferocious guitar from Dominic O’Dair. The lyrics, culled from a story written by Max about a nighttime ritual, are obscured by the barrage-like forward momentum of the music. The twelve-inch, recorded and mixed by the band between Oscarnold’s Stoke Newington flat and a south London studio, is the first release for Toy on their new label Tough Love, representing the latest stage in the evolution of the band. Since their inception, they have released the acclaimed albums Toy (2012), Join The Dots (2013) and Clear Shot (2016), and toured everywhere from Serbia to China, while holding onto that youthful, magical moment of discovering strange new worlds of innocence and experience.

“People appear to have seen Will-o’-the-wisp, a mysterious green-blue light, over the centuries,” says Dougall of the inspiration behind “The Willo,” the single’s A-side. “It generally means something ominous is about to happen.”

Taken from The Willo/Energy 12″.

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