TOY, a rising band on the rock and psychedelic scene, made a significant breakthrough last year with their new song It’s been so Long.
Bursting through in a wave of 80s nostalgia and an updated beat, this is a song that paves the way to a new era in today’s music. Say goodbye to the angry four chords of the Noughties and hello to the mellow tones of Tom Dougall, alongside rippling strumming and an interesting manipulation of backing vocals.
This isn’t a tribute band to the great eras past; this is an updated, interesting and totally re-invented perspective on the idea of rock and post-punk invention. Electric pianos have not sounded this cool since 1989; and this band hits a hard punch to the criticism of modern music. This band proves you can be new different and relevant while drawing on the ideas and forms of the past.
The album Join the dots is a bit like an Klimt painting; it is dazzling, outrageous and undeniably beautiful, while unashamedly bringing what worked from the previous genre and leaving what didn’t. The musicians, especially guitarist Dominic O’Dair and bassist Maxim Barron perform with a fluid talent and ear for tempo, while the dark softness of the vocals contrasts with the metaphoric lyrics.
Every song is different; you time travel from a dark concert in the late eighties to the strange lucidity of sixties indie concerts. There are even elements of goth from the nineties somewhere in the collage of ideas and forms, that actually work really well. It sounds overwhelming, but, as much as it shouldn’t, it really works.
One member, Alejandra, the phenomenally talented keyboard player, stands out as bringing a great deal of mystery and depth through her formulaic but unusual interpretation of electric keyboard and synth melodies. She adds not only a brilliant update on the breakthroughs of the past but a strong identity. to the work of the band
We spoke to her about her experiences working in the band and the genre.
When and why did you start playing?
We started playing a few years ago, we all have played instruments individually since we were very young, but as a band we have been playing for at least 5 years.
What are your fondest musical memories in your environment around you?
My fondest musical memories would definitely have to be with my mum, she had a great record collection which we used to
listen to together in different situations. It was never forced, music was just always going on in the house. It was just normal.
What was the first tune(s) you learned?
Well, I am the synth player in the band. I don't think I have ever tried to learn tunes like a
guitar player would do. You just have to get used to your machine, experiment and see what happens!
Which musicians do you admire?
There really are many, in different genres, eras, bands... I guess the first who comes to mind is Lou Reed, he is very important, but naming just him would be limiting myself, there really are many many many...
Describe your first instrument.
My first instrument was a Spanish guitar that I got when I was 6, I still have it and has holes and cracks everywhere, but it's a classically built guitar and it still sounds better than any non electric guitar I've ever heard.
Which sounds/visuals/artists/albums give you a real buzz-how do you stay inspired?
I stay inspired by making music, I get inspired by any record, artist I listen to that means something, I get inspired by playing together, by anything meaningful really, I don't think there is anything specific or tangible.
What is a day in the studio like?
We play through ideas, develop songs, practice songs we know already, or just see what happens, we always have a great time, it'd be pointless otherwise.