Interview With Toy Horses
WELSH RARE-BEAT WITH MULTI-INSTRUMENTATION, MURKY MELANCHOLY AND MANIC MELODIES
I fucking love Welsh bands more than life itself. I’ve been a Super Furry Animals obsessive for over a decade now, have flirted sluttily behind their back with Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, and have recently got the horn for the new-wave delights of Race Horses and Y Niwl. Toy Horses are the next Welsh band attempting to break into the mainstream (and vie for my attention) with their inventive, exciting and off-beat sound.
The rather unconventional pairing of Adam Franklin and Tom Williams are, for all intents and purposes, stepson and stepfather but certainly not in the traditional sense. Tom has been Adam’s mother’s partner for years and the two have forged a bond that has transcended the generation gap through a shared habit of song writing. Their affinity for 1960s sounds is evident in their melodic, playful tunes which hide the melancholy of Adam’s often tragic lyrics. As multi-instrumentalists, part of their charm is Tom’s use of the rather extraordinary looking electric ukulele, as they switch between a variety of guitars and keyboards, with duelling vocals and gorgeous harmonies.
Their melody-fuelled, radio-ready songs sowed the first seeds of (accidental) success after they posted songs on their (whisper it) MySpace last year. Within a short space of time they were flying out to America to record their debut album with ex-Wilco member Ken Coomer who stumbled across their MySpace page and fell in love with the songs. On the fast track to breaking the States before their first single had been recorded, the band played SXSW and were booked at the showcase by one of the most influential figures in American music, Nic Harcourt (who helped launch the US careers of the likes of Coldplay). They went on to be his pick of the festival and were invited to do a live session in Los Angeles on his KCRW radio show – the ultimate ‘tastemaker’ show in America. The irony of the fact that Toy Horses have already played the legendary Los Angeles venue Spaceland with Wilco‘s drummer and Frank Black’s bass player before they’ve even played the toilet circuit is presumably not lost on them.
Toy Horses are set to expand their live shows with a permanent full band and many more gigs up and down the UK in 2011. With a breathtaking debut album on the horizon (to be released on their own label – Albino Sparrow Records) and an invitation to return to SXSW, things seem to be progressing rapidly for Toy Horses. Check out their lovely photos and download this free track (And It Was You) so that when they blow-up big time, you can say you were there at the (sort of) beginning. Blydi ardderchog.