SILVERSUN PICKUPS – ” Toy Soldiers ” Martika Cover

Posted: July 24, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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We’re not sure it was their desired effect, but Silversun Pickups’ new video for “Toy Soldiers” puts one thought at the forefront of our mind: What really happened with Martika, the Cuban-American child actress-turned pop sensation who had a No. 1 hit at age 19, collaborated with Prince on her second album and walked away from the music industry at age 22?

“Toy Soldiers” was Martika’s big breakout hit, and Silversun Pickups chose to re-imagine it while “thinking about songs from the ’80s that we loved growing up, that had a big radio moment and [were] part of our cultural DNA,” frontman Brian Aubert says of the tune, which was made with Butch Vig, who produced the L.A. quartet’s 2019 album “Widow’s Weeds.”

“This version doesn’t feel bombastic and over-the-top; it’s crackling and tiny at times,” Aubert says. “Butch really helped with this. I don’t think I’ve ever sung this intimately before. The guitar solo during it was very important to me, and we quickly realized that the solo worked during that time period, but not when we did it. We threw in a curve ball, some weird things, inspired by Johnny Greenwood. We put our weird stamp on it and it really came together.”

We were performing a cover of a song from The Lost Boys soundtrack for a for SiriusXM special and that got us thinking about songs from the ‘80s that we loved growing up, that had a big radio moment and was part of our cultural DNA. A song that you know right away when you hear it. We thought of “Toy Soldiers” as a great example of this and decided we should try and record it.

There’s something about this song that hits me emotionally – this song has always hit me that way. At first, it wasn’t about the lyrics, but the feel of it. To be honest, I was not initially aware what the song was about, but listening to the lyrics, it was clearly about addiction. Someone else’s addiction. It’s pretty painful and very personal. You realize it doesn’t matter what the shell is, what the production is, what the era is…this is obviously a very personal story that at first I wasn’t sure we could touch. We ended up framing it into our own world and we think it works.

We recorded this back in January and didn’t know where it would land, but now with this world the way it is, we felt it was a good time to release the song. We just wanted to shine a spotlight on MARTIKA and this song…_b

The video for the song, directed by Claire Marie Vogel and animator Aaron Hymes, captures the pandemic-era vibe. “Creating a video from a distance makes for many limitations, but I love how limitations can shape an idea,” Vogel says. “The song’s melancholy nature and the sense of isolation permeating the world right now were both very influential when writing the treatment. The video we made speaks to that collective sense of yearning and disconnection many of us are experiencing.”

As for Martika, the singer has said in interviews promoting occasional nostalgia tours that her retirement was a case of “too much too soon.” Surely there’s a longer story to be told there.

our latest album Widow’s Weeds

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