11 Songs, 1 Hour

EDITORS’ NOTES

Join the Dots opens with a gutsy seven-minute groove that not only nods to Krautrock at its finest but waves coolly and says, “Look how we do it!” The tune creeps along like a soundtrack to a terrifying run-through-the-woods scene in a slasher flick, with a quivering bass line opening up to syncopated hi-hats and snare and sheets of menacing synths. It builds steadily, dips, and builds again, pulling listeners in without mercy. You’re stuck in it—but trust us, you’ll enjoy the ride. Moving from the math-rock-infused motorik tune to “You Won’t Be the Same,” (something that seems a lot like the '80s Paisley Underground, with synths), the Londoners thoughtfully breach genre boundaries and genre camps, mixing things up without regard for borders. Getting lost has rarely been this much fun. The nearly eight-minute title track works steadily to liftoff, with clockwork drum precision and burbling, circular bass lines carrying cascades of treated guitars into the ether. Toy’s formula of marrying synth- and guitar-driven psychedelia with Krautrock's mesmerizing, hypnotic quality is in perfect balance.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Join the Dots opens with a gutsy seven-minute groove that not only nods to Krautrock at its finest but waves coolly and says, “Look how we do it!” The tune creeps along like a soundtrack to a terrifying run-through-the-woods scene in a slasher flick, with a quivering bass line opening up to syncopated hi-hats and snare and sheets of menacing synths. It builds steadily, dips, and builds again, pulling listeners in without mercy. You’re stuck in it—but trust us, you’ll enjoy the ride. Moving from the math-rock-infused motorik tune to “You Won’t Be the Same,” (something that seems a lot like the '80s Paisley Underground, with synths), the Londoners thoughtfully breach genre boundaries and genre camps, mixing things up without regard for borders. Getting lost has rarely been this much fun. The nearly eight-minute title track works steadily to liftoff, with clockwork drum precision and burbling, circular bass lines carrying cascades of treated guitars into the ether. Toy’s formula of marrying synth- and guitar-driven psychedelia with Krautrock's mesmerizing, hypnotic quality is in perfect balance.

TITLE TIME

About TOY

London's TOY borrow from shoegaze, Krautrock, and classic psychedelia to make pulsating, hypnotic music. Featuring vocalist/guitarist Tom Dougall, guitarist Dominic O'Dair, bassist/vocalist Maxim Barron, keyboardist Alejandra Diez, and drummer/vocalist Charlie Salvidge, TOY began playing together in 2010; before forming this group, Dougall, O'Dair, and Barron were in the band Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jong. Barron also plays in Cat's Eyes, the other project of the Horrors' Faris Badwan. The group's first single, Left Myself Behind, was released in 2011 on Heavenly in a limited edition of 100 copies and sold out in a day; that year, they also supported the Horrors on tour and performed at festivals such as Field Day. The following year, they issued the singles Motoring and Lose My Way before releasing their self-titled debut album that September. The band reunited with producer Dan Carey for 2013's Join the Dots, which offered a more streamlined version of TOY's hypnotic psych-pop. The band collaborated with Bat for Lashes' Natasha Khan and Carey as Sexwitch, whose self-titled debut album arrived in 2015. That year, Diez left the group, and Max Oscarnold -- also of Proper Ornaments -- joined as TOY's new synth player. Late that year, the band went into the studio with producer David Wrench and recorded a set of songs inspired by folk, electronic, and film music greats spanning Bernard Herrmann, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and the Incredible String Band. The results were Clear Shot, which arrived in 2016 and featured mixing work by Chris Coady. ~ Heather Phares

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