There are records which tries to achieve the ambitious goal of pursuing an experimental and progressive approach whilst still adopting a musical language which remains accessible and enjoyable to hear. Happy in the Hollow, which is the fourth and newest LP by British band TOY, aims at this result with a special recipe that foresees equal parts of indie rock and psychedelic music. The result is certainly interesting and many songs on the new album are effectively animated by an internal dynamic that makes them alive and absolutely intriguing.
From a musical point of view, Happy in the Hollow is an album made of contrasts: basic rock riffs combined with psychedelic elements, scratchy sounds and angelic voices, and also the combination of acoustic instruments with electronic inserts. This is not a record made to be appreciated as a quick shot, but it’s certainly intriguing and nice to be explored with patience and curiosity. Even the atmospheres of the songs are never completely defined: in the most “serene” pieces there is something which leaves a taste of restlessness and claustrophobia, just as in the darker pieces we always see some light which is shining on the horizon.
Among the aspects that have not convinced me completely there is the sound of the songs. The choice to produce and record the LP in a completely independent way certainly courageous, but the final result presents those typical imperfections and coarseness to which we are no longer accustomed to.
In short, TOY’s new album is full of ideas and it sparks of creativity, but it also requires a certain dedication to be fully appreciated. The five-piece from Brighton continues to experiment and evolve their style of psychedelic indie rock, and despite their latest work isn’t maybe the most immediate and catchy among those they published to date, Happy in the Hollow still remains a valuable and very nice album. My overall rating is 6.5/10.
My favorite songs are Energy, Mechanism and the opening track Sequence One.
TOY are now featured in INDIE INSIDE, the playlist with all the best and newest songs in Indie Rock. More than 60 songs among those released in the last couple of years. Check it out!