January and February are slow months for new music. Both tend to drag like one long Monday -- leaving us feeling trapped in the post holiday doldrums. A lot of musicians wait until the summer for maximum sales and exposure.
Many including myself, have been anticipating where they would go next after 2013’s -- must be heard -- “Join The Dots” and 2016’s acclaimed “Clear Shot.”
On their new effort “Happy In The Hollow,” they are experimenting heavily with a sound which was already experimental to begin with and could be described as psychedelic, maybe shoegaze, retro rock or something along those lines.
“Last Warmth Of The Day” could be a soundtrack to a Hitchcock film, then brightens up and turns into something from a Quentin Tarrantino flick, like clouds passing overhead. There are shades of the 80’s band “Tones On Tale” but TOY still manages to come off as moderately original, a great feat, considering most everything has been done before. “Warmth” fits perfectly with the weather we have been having lately in South Florida.
“Jolt Awake” is one of the best on the album. The driving “Mechanism” -- recalls, “Teenage Wasteland” by “The Who.”
“You Make Me Forget Myself” feels like a distant relative to “The Cocteau Twins,” and a lazy day at Brighton Beach on the Southern Coast of England, where Toy was formed. This is the best track on an album that is very much an album’s album -- meaning it should be listened to from beginning to end to better understand their sound.
Only gripes are that the track order could have been altered for better flow and “Strangulation Day” excised reappearing somewhere as a b-side.