Posts Tagged ‘Toy’

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.

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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
Tags: ,

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.”

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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.

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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

Splitting their time between Tom Dougall and bassist Maxim Barron’s place in New Cross and Dominic O’Dair’s flat in Walthamstow, where they set up a makeshift studio and laid down the early album demos, Clear Shot began to take shape in the first half of 2015.

Taking inspiration from an esoteric blend – Radiophonic Workshop, Comus, the scores of Bernard Herrmann, John Barry and Ennio Morricone Fairport, COUM, Acid House, Incredible String Band, The Langley Schools Project, The Wicker Man soundtrack and even the direction behind Electric Eden, Rob Young’s book about the development of folk music in the U.K. – by the time they entered Eve Studios in Stockport in October 2015 with producer David Wrench, the band were clear about the direction the album should take.
The result is their most coherent and confident album to date; lushly cinematic, shot through with their most expressive melodies thus far and coated with a ‘sheen’ courtesy of Chris Coady (Beach House, Smith Westerns, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), who mixed the album in LA with some of the reverbs and vocal processors used on Purple Rain, across the 10-tracks strands of ideas appear, sink and re-emerge in an almost modal jazz manner. Clear Shot sees TOY working both in bigger colours and more minutely crafted detail, achieving an altogether higher level of artistry than before.

Another Dimension is the 2nd single taken from TOY’s third album ‘Clear Shot’ released October 2016 on Heavenly Recordings.TOY have shared their new hazy, psychedelic Bunny Kinney-directed video for ‘Another Dimension’ – the second single taken from their third album ‘Clear Shot’ which was released in October on Heavenly Recordings.

When it first entered the musical canon in the 1960s, psychedelic music was the sound of the counter-culture and of wild musical experimentation, often driven by hallucinogens. It was the sound of San Francisco Bay and bands like The Grateful Dead. As it moved from the underground to the mainstream, psychedelic music began to shift what it meant to write the perfect pop song, especially when The Beatles permeated the wider public conscious with their ode to LSD .

TOY , the British band is savvy enough to know just how far a pop song can be pushed, pulled and stretched. Snatches of everyone from Can to Stereolab to MGMT can be heard in Clear Shot’s chugging-yet-supple anthems to ecstasy. ‘Dream Orchestrator’ is the catchiest of the lot; propelled by a throbbing beat and effervescent synths, it’s by far the danciest track on the album, not to mention the most forward-gazing.

The chorus alone could be bottled and sold as an antidepressant, fueled as it is by easygoing hooks, squalls of breathless noise and upward-spiraling rapture. Rather than relying too heavily on the work of psychedelia’s past masters, frontman Tom Dougall and crew have put a futuristic spin on hallucinatory pop — that is, if the future were something to be viewed with romance and wonder instead of today’s all-too-pervasive doom”. Vinyl edition due November 11th

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TOY have shared the new video to ‘I’m Still Believing’, the first single from their forthcoming new album Clear Shot, due for release in October on Heavenly Recordings.

The video’s director, London-based filmmaker Bunny Kinney, envisioned a porject aesthetic resembling an old stumbled-upon VHS tape that had been recorded over numerous times, complete with snippets strange programs and advertisements left behind from previous owners that flicker and fade in and out of the footage of the band performing.

The track itself captures the essence of the band’s penchant for multifaceted arrangements; chiming guitars skirted by elevating synth are soon opened into more pop-tinged territory, during bright choruses framing frontman Tom Dougall’s introspective narrative.

Capped with a signature, elongated break pairing the striking and intricate guitars of Dougall and Dominic O’Dair and the ever-captivating bass of Maxim Barron – the song is a statement from a group still evolving, three records in and able to pull from a wealth of musicianship and experience.

‘I’m Still Believing’ is the first single from TOY’s third studio album ‘Clear Shot’ released October 28th 2016 on Heavenly Recordings. TOY’s second album, 2013’s ‘Join The Dots’, was a fantastic, murky abyss. Judging by the title of their third album – and first single ‘Fast Silver’ – the London-based five-piece are sounding brighter.