Posts Tagged ‘Toy’

The London five-piece Tom Dougall, Dominic O’Dair, Maxim Barron, Charlie Salvidge and Max Oscarnold release their first album on Tough Love and their fourth for the world. It’s recorded in home studios, mixed at Studio B in South London and completely self-produced. This extra material recorded and commisioned around the same time the original album was made. The deluxe version of Toy’s fourth album, “Happy In the Hollow”, is now available online. It includes the original album alongside new artwork and four rare or previously unavailable songs, as below.

Happy in the Hollow
The Willo (Sonic Boom remix)
Strangulation Day (Cosey Fanni Tutti remix)
Move Through the Dark (Daniel Melero & Yuliano Acri remix)

Grooving looping guitar psych-out dream-state vocals bring you trippy melodies. Originally released February 14th, 2020

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As one of the most quintessentially ’80s-sounding bands, Soft Cell aren’t the easiest artist to cover. On their recent covers EP, “Songs of Consumption”, English psych outfit Toy decided to give it the old college try with the 1982 Soft Cell b-side “Fun City.” Frontman Tom Dougall’s layered vocals are far more ghostly than the earnest pop of Marc Almond. In Toy’s version, the keyboards are more robotic and twinkly than Soft Cell’s wonky new wave, plus the hopping guitar pulses are more pronounced. While the Soft Cell’s cut is more danceable, Toy’s version is far more icy, atmospheric and expansive and—dare I say—far superior to the original.

Following the announcement earlier this month of their forthcoming covers album ‘Songs Of Consumption’, Toy
have shared a further track ‘Down On The Street’, the classic Stooges track – here given a synth makeover – taken from the self-produced 8-song collection, released on November 15th via Tough Love Records.

The band have also announced a run of UK shows early next year as part of the Independent Venue Week 2020. These follow a couple of special shows next month.

Titled ‘Hollowed Out – A night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual’, the shows will see them re-imagining songs from ‘Happy In The Hollow’, their fourth studio album released in January.

Taken from the album, Songs of Consumption, out 15th November.

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Toy’s new record, “Songs of Consumption”, is an eight song collection of unique interpretations of songs that have directly inspired the band, and had some influence on their most recent record, the critically acclaimed Happy in the Hollow. Impressively, all eight songs were self-produced and recorded in home studios.

The idea was originally birthed when the band recorded four covers for the bonus 7″s that came with the Dinked and Rough Trade versions of the last album. 3 of those songs feature here alongside 5 new recordings completed last month, which comprise tracks by Stooges, Amanda Lear, Nico, The Troggs, Serge Gainsborough, Soft Cell, John Barry and Pet Shop Boys / Elvis / Willy Nelson (depending on how you know the song).

Another psych-rock gem of an album from Toy, one of the few remaining genre acts that haven’t faded into obscurity since the revival almost a decade ago? Well, not quite. What they warned us about with “Happy In The Hollow” – the track that preceded this long form – is now inescapable.

A band that have discovered a sharper, less forgiving edge wield this powerful, streamlined pop sword and do some real damage. The fact “Songs Of Consumption” is a covers album only makes the stylistic direction more pronounced. If you’ve heard the originals of tracks like the Stooges’ “Down On The Street” or the almost-unknown Nico bomb “Sixty/Forty” you appreciate what’s been done here even more. Respectively dancefloor electronica and exotic, dreamy soundscapes in those two cases. Reinventions by the reinvented.

Toy, who released Happy In The Hollow, their fourth, and by far most acclaimed album to date, in January of this year, have announced details of “Songs Of Consumption”, an 8-song collection of unique interpretations of tracks which have inspired the band.

Taking on a varied musical range from The Stooges via Amanda Lear to Soft Cell, the album, released on Friday 15th November 2019, will be available on LP, CD and digital formats. A hand-numbered edition of 300, 180gm seafoam green vinyl is available exclusively via Bandcamp and the Tough Love website.

Self-produced and recorded at home studios, the track listing of the album is as follows:

1.   Down On The Street
2.   Follow Me
3.   Sixty Forty
4.   Cousin Jane
5.   Fun City
6.   Lemon Incest
7.   Always On My Mind
8.   A Dolls House

Talking about the album, TOY said: “Songs of Consumption sonically is a continuation and development of the themes conceived on Happy In The Hollow and it will show people where we are going towards musically. The DIY approach was explored further utilising more of the electronic elements that we touched upon before. Drum machines, stripped down arrangements and rudimentary production give a primitive sound that we thought suited the choice of songs. Some of the songs have very big sounding production, so we wanted to experiment with them by going in a different direction.

Music is consumed voraciously now whereas these songs came from a time when the song was of the most important thing and that’s what was appreciated. Stripping them back to the essence of what they are was also something we wanted to explore. Also, we wanted to make a covers record with songs by people that influenced us in the past few years and it’s as much about the way they dealt with their ideas, and how they put themselves in uncomfortable situations in order to make something that in the end is simple. It’s a homage to the spirit of these people, that helped us to untangle ourselves from our inherent complicated nature and create a new space where we can exist.”

Additionally, having played a sold-out tour of the UK in February, including a mesmerising show at Village Underground in London, the band have announced a couple of very special shows at the end of the year.

Playing under the banner of ‘Hollowed Out – A night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual’ the shows will see them re-imagining songs from Happy In The Hollow.

Happy In The Hollow

Toy return with their fourth studio album, a record that grabs hold of you from the start – by far their most accessible release to date, it combines familiarity with a boldness of execution across a multitude of genres, ambitiously upgrading their sound as they dip into post-punk, krautrock and even acid folk at points.

Recorded between their own home tape studios and mixed at Dan Carey’s studio b in South London, the album was entirely produced and mixed by the band. becoming self-sufficient has paid rich dividends for the band here, giving them artistic freedom to expand their sound in new directions throughout. familiar qualities like metronomic rhythms, warping guitars, undulating synths and Dougall’s gentle, reedy vocals are all in there, but so is a greater emphasis on melody and a combination of being both reassuring and sinister that is as unnerving as it is captivating. “colourful, hazy and seductive…a reinvigorated unit who have finally come into their own”

TOY – ” Sequence One “

Posted: October 26, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Today, UK psych rockers TOY announced the release of their fourth album. With the announcement of the new album, the band also released a video for the lead track “Sequence One”. It is a perfect mix of psych and kraut rock.  You can also listen to the two previously released tracks via Bandcamp .

The album is offered in a few different variants, so make sure to check out all your options before you buy. I went with the Tough Love variant that is limited to 300 and comes with a bonus LP of remixes.  Rough Trade has 200 copies on white vinyl as well as a ‘Dinked’ version limited to 700 that you can grab from various UK distros . There will also be an indie store exclusive on blue vinyl, limited to 1000.

‘Sequence One’ taken from the forthcoming album ‘Happy In The Hollow’ available 25th January 2019.

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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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This week my most awaited LP of 2018 thus far coming from the inimitable Low on their shadowy electronic masterpiece, ‘Double Negative’. There are synths akimbo on the new one from MCR up-n-comers Pale Waves, reminding me of a more youthful Kristin Kontrol (if only everyone loved that LP as much as I did), or a less saccharine Tegan & Sara. In fact, it’s a very electronic week on the heavy hitters, Those of you who love a good guitar can do FAR worse than The Goon Sax’s new outing on the ever-reliable Wichita Recordings, absolutely brimming with lyrical fire and melodic cleverness, and with the propulsive slacker vibes the Aussies do so well.

Low

Low  –  Double Negative

In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative co-writers, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?

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Toy  –  The Willo

Since 2010, 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.

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.

Goonsax

The Goon Sax

The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones from Brisbane, Australia. Still in high school when they made their first album Up To Anything in 2016, their brand of awkwardly transcendent teenage guitar pop took earned them wide-spread critical acclaim.

For album number two, they flew to Melbourne to record with James Cecil and Cameron Bird, respectively former/current members of Architecture In Helsinki, and ‘We’re Not Talking’ shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It’s a record that takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes. Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion.

Drummer Riley Jones really comes to the fore here, joining Louis and James in singing lead and writing songs for the first time, making the band the musical equivalent of an equilateral triangle (the strongest shape in physics).

Delivering brilliantly human and brutally honest vignettes of adolescent angst, The Goon Sax brim with personality, charm and heart-wrenching honesty. ‘We’re Not Talking’ is a record made by restless artists, defying expectations as if hardly noticing, and its complexity makes ‘We’re Not Talking’ even more of a marvel.

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Dilly Dally – Heaven

Heaven highlights Dilly Dally’s rough edges in all their ragged glory, drawing every potent ounce of energy from the foursome’s swampy tones, raspy vocals, and volatile rhythm section. While the music is undeniably ferocious, there’s uplift woven into the fabric of every track. The album opens with the dreamy “I Feel Free”, which begins as a floating, untethered soundscape before transforming into a soaring anthem for a world that’s ready to finally turn the page on all the darkness and disillusion the last few years have wrought. The inexorable “Believe” insists on self-confidence, while the driving “Sober Motel” celebrates the lucidity a clear mind, and the lilting “Sorry Ur Mad” makes a case for releasing yourself from the prisons of anger and resentment. Heaven carves out its own atheistic religion to get through the day, a faith that validates our pain as real but responds with a beaming light of hope. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Slothrust the pact

Slothrust  –  The Pact

Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident. The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. This is The Pact. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles (the band’s new home base), Slothrust’s new album is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Wellbaum confirms. “We were able to take risks. I’m saying yes more than no these days.”

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Pale Waves  – My Mind Makes Noises

After signing a record deal with Dirty Hit in 2017, Manchester’s Pale Waves released their debut single “There’s a Honey”, followed by “Television Romance”. The following year, the band were ranked fifth in the BBC Sound of 2018 poll and won the NME Under the Radar Award at the NME Awards. They now return with their debut album which features the singles ‘There’s A Honey’, ‘Television Romance, ‘Kiss’, ‘Eighteen’ and new single ‘Black’.

Pale Waves are Heather (vocals, guitar), Ciara (drums), Hugo (guitar) and Charlie (bass).

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Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers

Richard Thompson’s new album is his first self-produced record in over a decade. It’s a minimal and spacious recording which, according to Thompson, is a projection of current events in his life. “This has been an intense year for myself and my family, getting older doesn’t mean that life gets easier! There are surprises around every bend. I think this reflects in the immediacy of the stories, and the passion in the songs. Sometimes I am speaking directly about events, at other times songs are an imaginative spin on what life throws at you. The music is just a mirror to life, but we try to polish that mirror as brightly as possible.” 13 Rivers spans thirteen tracks. It is an album as much about growth as it is about reflection. Says Thompson, “I don’t know how the creative process works – I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission at the back.” [Limited black and cream colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Firstaidkittenderofferings

First Aid Kit – Tender Offerings

“Technically, Tender Offerings are the four songs that did not make it onto Ruins. For these ladies, these precious songs did not fit the bombastic folk-nature of the album. Instead, they truly felt like tender offerings; too sweet and soft in scope to be fluidly aligned with their other tracks. Once, you hear such gorgeous tracks like, “I’ve Wanted You” and “All That We Get” you will understand their point. Instrumentally, you feel every hook, melody, and chorus was precisely and clearly made as a cloud creates a raindrop. This duo turn their guitar melodies into field of amber strings dancing in the suns of their voices like grains move with daylight.”

Pw truemeanings cvr

Paul Weller – True Meanings

To put it simply, True Meanings, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album and the 26th studio album of his entire career, is a record unlike any he has ever made before. It’s characterized by grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration: an aesthetic to which Weller’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words, is perfectly suited. A dreamy, peaceful, pastoral set of songs to get lost in, it’s both an album that his faithful audience has been wanting him to make for a long time, and an album that many new people outside of that audience will relate to.

The doors waiting for the sun %2850th anniversary deluxe edition%29

The Doors – Waiting For The Sun [Reissue/1968]

50th Anniversary reissue. This double-CD and single-LP collection features a new version of the album’s original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl LP, which has been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Bruce Botnick, the Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer. The CD set also includes a second disc of 14 completely unreleased tracks: nine recently discovered “rough mixes” from the album recording sessions and five live songs from a 1968 Copenhagen show.

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Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now: Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 DVD

Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context.

A Giant Dog is raucous ear candy culled from the hook-driven melodies of Slade, the glammy swagger of Marc Bolan, the morbidfantasy of Killer-era Alice Cooper, and the unpredictable wit of Sparks.  Sabrina and Andrew’s lyrics, equal parts brutally honest, clever, and debased, have a knack for taking their idiosyncratic depravities and making them feel universal.

These songs are by, for, and about the losers, freaks, and outcasts. The lonely. The terminally horny. Boozehounds and party animals. When I first listened to Toy, I was sad it didn’t sound aggressive like Pile. A few listens later and I was singing along with it. It’s quieter than Pile, but it’s another great album by A Giant Dog

Forging their friendships in the crucible of their Houston, TX, high school, Sabrina Ellis (vocals), Andrew Cashen (vocals, guitar), and Orville Neeley (drums) first got their start covering AC/DC, The Ramones, Joan Jett, and the finer points of the Back to the Future soundtrack at school dances under the band name Youth In Asia. Reuniting in Austin in 2008, they enlisted their pals Andy Bauer (guitar) and Graham Low (bass) and christened the act A Giant Dog.  AGD have built their reputation blowing the goddamned doors off every venue in Austin. Live, they are loud, heavy, electrifying. Sabrina struts around the stage like Iggy Pop channeling Tina Turner. Andrew hurls himself from the summit of the speaker stack. Graham’s headbanging clobbers anything close to him. The audience rages, asses shake, and everyone leaves drenched in beer and bodily fluids.

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released August 25th, 2017

Band Members:
Sabrina Ellis: Lead Vocals
Andrew Cashen: Vocals and Guitar
Andy Bauer: Guitar
Graham Low: Bass
Daniel Blanchard: Drums and Percussion

After their debut album ‘Wooden Head’ was released in 2014, in between their other ventures James Hoare from Veronica Falls and the brilliant Ultimate Painting and Max Claps from Toy got back in a room together. Back in November there was another track by Proper Ornaments, It’s the second song they’ve shared from their second LP ‘Foxhole “Creamated -Blown Away” was the first but this from this wonderful duo of Ultimate Painting’s James Hoare and Toy’s Max Oscarnold. The band is back today with “Bridge By A Tunnel,” a Velvet Underground-indebted low-key groove that will have you comfortably easing into the work week’s wintry abyss. It’s from their imminent sophomore album Foxhole is due out 20th January via Slumberland in the US and Tough Love in the rest of the world.

The Proper Ornaments – Foxhole – 2017