Of the immediate reactions that come with Toy Light’s “At Dusk / New Sun” is the sensory deja vu triggered by the bass line vibrations. The noir atmosphere is so overwhelmingly reminiscent of trip hop that you begin to await the haunted croon of Beth Gibbons. It makes the vocals of multi-instrumentalist Toy Light all the more jarring, as though he stole a demo from Geoff Barrow’s vault. Heard within the arc of Sightless, Unless, “At Dusk / New Sun” is right at home and Toy Light is understood not as a thief in the night, but a begotten son to 20 years of dark pop.
For many, the name Toy Light is the producer of “Dark Comedy Morning Show” on Open Mike Eagle’s Dark Comedy last year. It combined guitar soliloquy melancholy—similar to the overture in The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under The Bridge”—with glitched out percussion snaps and harrowing white noise that threatened to drown Mike’s soft spoken anxiety. The glitch returns in “At Dusk / New Sun”, this time as a nervous twitch that stutters atop the sinister bass line. Toy Light has constructed a world within Sightless, Unless, one that courses through the wires of the nervous system. The reprieves come with a price and the unrest is a foundation. So when we find ourselves in the familiar, interacting with the vagueness of deja vu, tracks like “At Dusk / New Sun” are heard as haunts and suppressed memory finding the surface.
You can pre-order Toy Light’s Sightless, Unless on iTunes. The album is out May 19 via Alpha Pup.