Formed in 2010 in London, Toy is Tom Dougall (vocals, guitar), Dominic O’Dair
(guitars), Panda (bass, vocals), Alejandra Diez (synths) and Charlie Salvidge (drums).
Steered by an ambition to make music with close, likeminded friends, Toy have quickly
established a sound that is as modernistic as it is faithful to the spirit of psychedelia of
decades past. Marrying sophisticated chord progressions with a cornucopia of effects,
enigmatic lyricism and driving Motorik rhythms, Toy’s songwriting is very much a
communal effort: lyrics are contributed by Dougall, Panda and Salvidge; songs are born
and evolve from each individual’s chords, basslines, synth motifs or drum patterns; and
themes and textures developed with a democratic ‘best idea wins’ policy.
Initially layering up tracks accompanied by a drum machine, Toy spent their first
nine months demoing rough versions of the songs that would appear on their first
single, ‘Left Myself Behind’, and self-titled debut album. Signed to Heavenly Recordings
by Jeff Barrett after an early performance at The Shacklewell Arms, East London, Toy
soon took up a four-week residency at the same venue, honing an uptempo and
rambunctious live show augmented by a smoke machine and lasers with the zest of a
twenty-first century Exploding Plastic Inevitable.
To help capture the otherworldliness and energy of the shows, Toy brought the
lighting rig into producer Dan Carey’s studio to accompany the recording of their debut,
Toy (2012). Captured largely live with all five members playing at once, each instrument
provides its own raucous, revolving melodies, from the eerie, phased string sounds of
Diez’s Korg Delta, to the precision shivering of Salvidge’s drum fills. Featuring the
singles ‘Motoring’, ‘Lose My Way’, ‘Make It Mine’ and ‘My Heart Skips A Beat’, Toy is an
assured statement of intent: a collection of rapturous noise experiments with a pop
sensibility, peppered with instrumental passages that are both calculated and primal in
Whilst promoting the album, Toy have toured extensively, including headline
sets in the UK, Europe, Japan and Australia; a multitude of festival appearances
including the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury 2013; and supporting slots for The Horrors,
The Vaccines and British Sea Power, amongst others. The band admit to enjoying
playing late at night to people in altered states, and in turn the tracks are frequently
altered: instrumental sections in particular are structured freely, enabling the band to
exploit the bleed and feedback of each venue to produce endless variations of the same
This appetite for reinvention and prolificacy is mirrored in the band’s ambition
to release a new record every year – a wish currently achieved with the arrival of Join
The Dots, released by Heavenly in December 2013. As with their debut, Join The Dots
was recorded mostly live with Carey at the helm, although increased studio time has
enabled the band to experiment more with Carey’s laboratory of effects and pre-amps,
and embellish the tracks with overdubs. The album is both a companion to and
extension of the electric blueprint plotted out on Toy, filled as it is with increasingly
unpredictable, illuminating sonic ideas and songs that shift and transform with
seemingly effortless intricacy. Underpinned by Teutonic, euphonic bass and drums,
Dougall and O’Dair’s Fenders blend seamlessly through abstract swathes of distortion
and delay – and likewise the lyrics are intentionally veiled, creating an aural agelessness
that transcends comparisons with other bands past or present.
Following the release of Join The Dots, Toy will embark on another headline UK
and European tour in spring 2014, and hope to release their third studio album before
the end of the same year. Plans are also afoot for a Carey-recorded live album and a
more unconventional, noise-charged EP – a testament to Toy’s irrepressible
inventiveness and determination to emblazon their music on the eardrums of new
FEATHERS comes after a sequence of bands for lead singer Anastasia Dimou. (Her previous band Cruel Black Dove who released two EP's drew high praise from the likes of NME, The Fader and The New York Post.) Moving to Austin from NY in 2011 represented a fresh start. With a unfettered self-possession, FEATHERS' sound represents Dimou with a room of her own.
Calling on her friends for help, the 4-5-piece live band includes Galexy Gehring (Ringo Deathstarr), Destiny Montague (Shock Cinema/Midnight Masses), Courtney Voss (The Vomettes) and Kathleen Carmichael.
Currently two tracks are available as free downloads on the band's website: "Land of the Innocent" and a remix from Maya Postepski (Austra, Trust) of "Dream Song."
With a rooted affinity for black-leather noise, synth-strewed weirdness and layered, wall-of-sound pop, Young Boys is a story that crisscrosses the continent. Formed by Oakland-bred David "Legs" McDaniel who, after traveling across the country, guitar in hand, looking for love and a place to call home, hooked up with fellow slimers Ethan Miller and a Minneapolis-bred player Lee Lichtsinn to solidify ranks in New York City.
Now knee-deep in NY grime and projected through technicolor static, Young Boys come armed with a pair of out-of-tune guitars, a drum machine and a certain, crunchy cohesion. The trio's slobbering stance on classic garage pop balladry has awarded them gigs alongside Crocodiles, Sleigh Bells, Dengue Fever, Ex Cops and SISU and gathered praise from the likes of NME and The Village Voice.
Holloweyed is honored to release Young Boys' debut longplayer; the six-song wave of growing deconstruction, New York Sun follows the group's 2010 split with California noise enthusiasts FM Face for Digitalis and a 7" of "Bring Em Down" for Chicago imprint, Rococo Records.
New York Sun will be issued on vinyl (w/ download card) and digital formats on February 26th.