TOY: “It’s Been So Long”

All this week, the Song of the Day will profile performing artists at this weekend’s Austin Psych Fest

London’s TOY are intentional in ways that most psychedelic bands aren’t these days. The group likes to jam a lot, building huge walls of sound out of guitar effects. But their jams tend to go somewhere, reflecting the subtle pop attitude that lurks beneath all the atmosphere. TOY seem equally smitten with the Cure, My Bloody Valentine, and ’60s psych–there’s a reason their second album is called Join The Dots.

Join The Dots turns in surprising ways, kicking off with a truly cosmic instrumental before settling into a nice jangly groove. This ability–to switch between dark and light–sets them apart from a lot of like-minded bands, and it’s one of the reasons why they’ve built up a sizable following in the UK. “It’s Been So Long” treads this line well: the guitars and drums roar like a jet engine, but there’s a bittersweet element to frontman Tom Dougall’s vocals. The heart is pounding, but the brain is trying to reign in the emotions, creating tension that TOY exploits superbly.

Catch TOY in the Levitation Tent, Sunday, May 4 at 7:45pm

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