TOY - 'Happy In The Hollow'

8/10

Over the years, TOY have become one of the most consistent and energised bands of recent memory. Their adoption of cult psych-rock and Britpop influences have been the foundation to which they have built their heavily-praised career on, and as we move through their catalog, we realise that they are growing ever more comfortable with age. Now onto their fourth full-length, the band seem more engaged than ever as they present 'Happy In The Hollow', a record that tries to bring them out of their comfort zone to deliver a wonderfully woozy spectacle of a release.

While the band's songwriting has remained rigid to its core values ever since their 2012 self-titled full-length, what sets this new collection apart from anything else we have heard recently is just how easy it seems to them. With a demeanour so laid-back they might as well be horizontal, TOY work through each track on this album with the greatest of ease, delivering one mood-driven and passionate cut after another. Epitomised by the joyfully swooning 'Mistake A Stranger' and the aptly-titled 'Energy', the record's sound flips between high and low pace, that while sometimes jarring, does breathe heavy life into this new release, making it a brilliantly captivating listen.

They may not have the huge fanbase that they deserve, but TOY have proven time and time again that truly heart-grabbing music needn't solely be made by those on the cover of magazines. 'Happy In The Hollow' may well be some of the best material we have heard from them so far, and still manages to pack a mighty punch after all these years.

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