Monday 24 June 2013


In November last year I wrote about Paris duo TOYS for the first time - their Natural Plastic EP was pretty cool indeed, dominated by the super-powerful track 'Noise'. They, namely Paul Prier and Bastien Doremus, are rather fond of music-making machines and analogue synthesisers, and it shows in the music they create - their first release boomed with bubbling-over energy and zinged with unique ornamentation; put shortly, a lovely sound.

I was eager and excited (PUMPED you could say) to hear what else would come from TOYS in the future... I even said it in the post, I literally said almost exactly that.

And the day has arrived. Finally. After a week of waiting since an announcement on their Facebook page they posted a video for their new single 'We Are'. The clip - directed by Maximilien Franco - features what seems to be an anti-Death kind of figure, giving people back their souls (the lyrics of the song's chorus being "We are the souls...") in a reverse-filled slow-motion gritty-city setting, Paris I guess, suiting the sound of the song very nicely.

Watch. But also, and more importantly, listen.

Everything that I first liked about TOYS is still there: the big beat - in this song it's thunderous and dotted with delicious 80s rock-drum fills; the catchy synth melodies, which hop about as sun-reflected arpeggios, jump out enticingly as chords in the chorus, scream in pentatonic keyboard solos; and the atmosphere - dark yet shot through with brightness. Heavy piano chords slam down throughout, fitting the thick sound of the song, yet the vocals are falsetto and fly above the music, like a bird watching scenes of life unfolding below.

But what's different this time around is an anthemic quality in the chorus, something that kind of didn't exist in their debut EP, but something that certainly puts a more arresting spin on things - it's more textured, the vocals are large and layered... there's more going on y'know. The ray-gun synth chords in the chorus follow a really catchy progression (and make a really nice sound, too), laser-beam solos are like melt-in-yo-ear, and there is generally more of a pop element to it I suppose. It's a different sound to what I was expecting but it has been warmly received.

Does this single come prior to an EP? An LP? Hmm? Well I guess we 'ave-t'wait'n'see.

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