Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
One gets a little moody, in the reflective state. Once it's obvious that you're not reeling anything in, that you're not hemming the corners in at the sides and that you're getting more and more tired earlier in the night, you draw yourself into something of a stupor. You feel that spinning of a head and the turning of the screw. You're under a thumb that's pressing hard, as if it's being asked to perform at the police station, assisted by another authoritative thumb that wants its fingerprints NOW. Sunsets seem dirty and sunrises even filthier. Life is slipping by at a breakneck speed in the songs of London-based group TOY.
The group, which features three former members of Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong, explores the idea of being in one's prime and still not feeling it. They think about what it means to be virile and contributing to something greater and still not feeling that it applies to them. All of that can be seen in others, but these characters are left with a sense that they're slipping around on peels, that they can't find any good reason not to just start drinking earlier and earlier in the day, with each passing one.
Singer Tom Dougall, guitarist Dominic O'Dair, bassist Maxim Barron, drummer Clarlie Salvidge and keyboard player Alejandra Diez sing about mighty forces being cut down to size and they aren't sure if there is much out there waiting for them. They might just embrace the stagnancy as something brighter than most would see it. Dougall sings, "I left myself behind/The years have not been kind to anyone but you/Don't tell me that's not true," and, sung in such a way, this is how one embraces a fate's ugly faces, its smirks and its derisive cackling. It all becomes like the humming of a fan or the release of a fat sigh.