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Toy - Happy In The Hollow - lp coloured -

Price per Unit (stuk): €25.95

With Clear Shot, TOY transformed their music by bringing it into hi-def focus. On Happy in the Hollow, they continue to change their sound in several ways. For the first time, the band self-produced their music, though their sessions at Dan Carey's Studio B suggest they're still tight with the producer who helped shaped their sound early on. Aside from a couple of tracks that could be holdovers from their previous album ("Mistake a Stranger," which boasts acoustic guitar arpeggios that sparkle as much as its synths, and the blissful finale "Sequence Two"), Happy in the Hollow's newfound artistic independence finds TOY flitting from sound to sound. "Jolt Awake," with its surfy guitars, lumbering bass, and taut drums, is just as trippy as any of their more overtly psychedelic tracks; "Mechanism" hones their fondness for motorik beats into sleek, silvery pop; and "You'd Make Me Forget Myself" lives up to its name as it basks in a romantic dream pop haze. Elsewhere, the band doesn't just morph with each song, they capture states of transformation. The early highlight "Energy" shoots off sparks as it hurtles along on one of their most furious rhythms, and sounds all the more electrifying next to "Last Warmth of the Day," where a descending bass line and strings evoke a sunset deepening into dusk. Occasionally, Happy in the Hollow's constant shifts turn into meandering. "The Willo," a song inspired by the will-o'-the-wisp, beckons like its namesake but doesn't hold interest for its entire seven-minute length. Even if it's not quite as cohesive as Clear Shot, Happy in the Hollow doesn't change the feeling that the members of TOY have one foot in another dimension that they're waiting to transport their listeners to.

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