English indie band TOY have a new album out on Heavenly Recordings, and its psychedelic, dream pop sound has us swirling in a haze. Led by Tom Dougall, whose honey coated voice could soothe a rattlesnake, TOY has been spinning out some indie gold since their debut in 2012. But now, with Clear Shot, they’re taking it to the next level. Check out their album stream on NPR, and read our quick interview with Dougall below. –Maya Eslami
WHAT YOUTH: Clear Shot has an incredible pace. Did you guys go into that intentionally? What was your approach to songwriting on this one?
TOY: I think this album is more concise than the other two. It’s about 10 minutes shorter in length too. We definitely wanted to release this record on a single piece of vinyl as opposed to the first two albums. There were some difficult decisions on which songs to include as there were loads to choose from. I don’t think our songwriting approach has changed particularly but as we go on with our lives our music naturally develops with it.
Where do you guys pull inspiration from?
We take inspiration from a very wide reaching varied pool of music and the same goes for books and films and anywhere else there are interesting ideas to latch onto. It all inspires what we do somehow
The lyrics on “Fast Silver” create a narrative of someone eager to evolve, as you sing, “If I hang around these streets too long, I’ll lose sight of the journey I’ve been on.” What does that mean to you guys, as a band evolving through your third record?
I wrote the lyrics on the overground going from east London to new cross, starting to feel like things were slipping out of control. I think there definitely has been a restless feeling amongst the band of wanting to push on with our music and block out any distractions.
I love the album cover. It reminds me of the Stones’ Out Of Our Heads. Was that intentional?
It wasn’t intentional at the time of taking the shot but we can see the similarity. We’ve always loved the Out Of Our Heads cover. We wanted to be visible on the cover this time and having us packed closely together conveys the sense of unity which is reflective in the music.
Any story behind the band name?
Our friend had an old Victorian toy box which had ‘toys’ written on the front. It just seemed like the perfect name, we were slightly surprised no one had really used it before.
And lastly, what’s next for TOY?
We have the album coming out on the 28th October and we head out on a UK tour with a few European dates from 18th November.