TOY: Happy in the Hollow (Tough Love) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, December 4th, 2023  


Happy in the Hollow

Tough Love

Jan 30, 2019 TOY Bookmark and Share

The TOY story has been an eventful one since the band initially got together eight years ago. Rising from the ashes of much maligned indie hopefuls Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong, TOY became one of the leading lights of the London psychedelic rock scene alongside The Horrors and Temples, signing to Heavenly Recordings and then releasing three critically acclaimed albums in the process.

Having parted company with Heavenly last year at the end of their three album deal, the band have brushed themselves down, found a new label in Tough Love and written a brand new bunch of songs. Fast forward twelve months and here we are with Happy in the Hollow, album number four and one that takes elements of their past to create a distinctly bright future.

It’s also the first album to fully showcase TOY’s production and mixing skills, the band having constructed everything themselves from beginning to end. While still obviously a TOY record in style and structure, there’s also greater emphasis on creating a more diverse range of sounds even at the expense of interrupting the flow. Which actually makes for a more attentive listen.

So on the pastoral folk of “You Make Me Forget Myself” or “The Willo”‘s haunting bossa nova, there’s a feeling TOY have made a concerted effort to go beyond the realms of expectation with this record. That doesn’t mean Happy in the Hollow dismisses the familiar either. On the contrary in fact, as lead single “Sequence One” and the chugging post punk of “Energy” charismatically demonstrate.

Nevertheless, a change is as good as a rest and having enjoyed the best of both worlds, TOY have returned with their boldest statement of intent to date. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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