Latest Releases

Latest News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014Please Help Fund a New David Thomas Broughton Documentary

The Ambiguity of David Thomas Broughton (video pitch & teaser1) from Greg Butler on Vimeo.

If you are quick – i.e. take action today – there is a new documentary about David Thomas Broughton which is using Indiegogo to raise funds, and of course we would appreciate any contribution you can make. This isn’t one of those conditional plans, basically all money goes towards the making of the film, even if the stated goal isn’t reached so everything is valuable.

I am really looking forward to seeing this, however it turns out. Having watched David divide and delight audiences I am always interested in how people articulate what exactly it is they get from his performances. Personally, I love genuinely not knowing where he’s going next.

Even now that I know a lot of the songs in his set pretty well, as we’re getting ready to release a couple of his album in the fairly immediate future, I still never really know whether he’s going to sweep those lovely tunes up into some sort of tornado of layered loops and improvised noise, or whether he’ll just cut everything out and let the melody and his voice speak for themselves.

It always seems pretty improvised too, so I am not really sure even he knows where he is going, which for me just adds to the appeal.

David himself, however, is such a lovely, normal guy when you meet him. He’s even said to me that he’s not sure why people keep calling it strange, he just makes noises that he likes, but there’s a definite change to how he comes across the second he steps on stage.

He’s an interesting chap, and I am really looking forward to seeing this film.

And while we’re at it, I know you probably know about this already, but on the 22nd September we are releasing a collaborative album with David and the Juice Vocal Ensemble. You can pre-order it here, and the first single is below:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014Plastic Animals

Plastic Animals – Floating from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.

I know tonight at the Queen’s Hall is mostly being discussed in terms of being the last ever Meursault show, but of course opening for them are another Song, by Toad band: Plastic Animals.

I always thought of Plastic Animals as a band with real potential, but it was recording with them for the second Song, by Toad Split 12″ when I decided I really wanted to release their music more formally. I am not sure what it was about those tunes. They are shoegazey, but not that nasty. There’s a dreamy thrum to them too, which I love. I love the drum sound, and even the minimal layering that we did worked really well. It just sounded like proper music despite being recorded live in our living room.

Since then, they’ve been working on their debut full-length album, and there are only one or two bits and pieces left to get down before the mixing can start. I’ve not really heard much of it because I try not to over-saturate myself with our new albums before they are finished, mostly to avoid becoming too attached to rough mixes, but also to make sure I don’t use up all my sense of excitement before the finished product is actually in my hands.

It’s always a bit of a risk, inviting a band to record an album for you without having much idea what the material is like, but their show at the Pleasance Sessions last year was fucking great. Shoegazey, yes, but getting krauty as fucking in moments too, and a handful of new songs which gave me that ‘Oh fucking YESSS!’ feeling you get when you hear something new and fantastic.

And tonight, for what I think is the first time, they’ll be playing the Queen’s Hall. I am really, really excited to see it.

Plastic Animals – Pizarnik from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.

Monday, August 11, 2014New release: David Thomas Broughton & Juice – Sliding the Same Way

dtbj Well well, it’s time to formally announce a new album here at Song, by Toad Records. Sliding the Same Way is a collaboration between David Thomas Broughton – who you hopefully know from our latest Split 12″ release – and the Juice Vocal Ensemble, and it is absolutely fucking lovely – pre-order one here.

It’s another semi-improvised album on the label, and makes me kind of wonder how many of my favourite albums are also semi-improvised, if only anyone would tell me. This one was recorded in Otley when David was back over from North Korea for a while, so perhaps a slightly more intriguing set of logistical hurdles than our usual ones, but if the album was at all rushed or uncertain you’d never know it.

I don’t know much about Juice until I heard this album, but holy shit what they’ve done here is beautiful. Whilst they embrace David’s experimentalism a lot of the time, their presence and the need to work together seems to have curtailed some of his more meandersome instincts, and when all four voices decide that it is time for the gorgeous stuff to break through the effect is absolutely stunning.

This album has everything on it which made me want to work with David in the first place, most obviously that incredible ability to make ostensibly small shifts in mood which can take you from weird to confrontational to playful to heart-breaking and right back again in the blink of a an eye. Just as you steel yourself for something abrasively strange to happen, you get something layered, melodic and beautiful. And just before it all gets too heavy, brief, almost throwaway little ditties like Woodwork crop up.

I know his use of an acoustic gets David rather oddly labelled as a folk musician, but some of the group singing on this album is really quite folky at times, particularly on tunes like the aforementioned Woodwork and the lovely Yorkshire Fog which follows. But in general this album is a lush collection of ballads which embrace the strange and the lovely in equal measure.

It’s amazing how much depth Juice add to this as well. It’s so lush, and their contributions are so varied from song to song, that you can forget you’re listening to an album which is almost entirely a capella. It feels like a band album, almost, with the fullness and versatility of sound they and David create between them.

Sliding the Same Way will be released on CD and download on the 22nd September, but in the meanwhile enjoy the free song above. It’s bloody gorgeous. You’re welcome.