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Spun out of collaboration between brothers Nico and Isaac Fitzpatrick after both parted ways with previous bands, Toledo Springs has been kicking around Auckland since 2013. With Nico acting as a frontman and Isaac taking up duties as bassist the pair have also recruited synth wizard Josh Nightingale and percussionist Michael Bullen to round out the band. For their self-titled EP, the group laid down five tracks at Auckland’s Black Orange Studios over a period of five months. What came out was pretty impressive.
Melding together shimmering dream pop, lo-fi electronica and lovelorn indie rock Auckland four-piece Toledo Springs deliver an impressively well-crafted debut EP.
Chameleonic leading track Where I’ll Be kicks off with an upbeat rock vibe. Subverting expectations the group quickly works in a downtempo chorus with silky lovelorn vocals and sliding guitar licks evocative of breathy Mac Demarco tracks like A Heart Like Hers. Dreamy layers of phasing noise interweave with jangly guitar riffs before gradually giving way to an ethereal instrumental jam. Distantly gentle vocals invite an identified lover to “stay up all night”, but the forlorn tone of the track foreshadows a feeling of introspective longing which pervades the EP.
Where I’ll Be exemplifies the group’s knack for toying with the structure of their arrangements. The EP’s songs often lull the listener into some state of mediative contemplation before taking the track somewhere else entirely. Surrealistic second track Essentially follows on with melancholic vocals and dense sonic textures. Evocative of the ambient production and reverberant vocals of Slowdive, the track showcases the group’s dream pop influence at its strongest. Sonic elements flow together with weeping guitars licks and ambient layers of instrumentation sending the track disintegrating into unstructured oblivion.
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Pieces lifts the tone with funk laden basslines and twinkling guitar riffs. Upbeat vocals, bouncy rhythms and Kevin Parker-esuqe vapourwave synths take cues from tracks like Disciples and Yes I’m Changing from Tame Impala’s Currents. The end result is washed-out and deftly crafted indie pop. Pleading penultimate track Just a Minute’s follows on in a similar vein to opener Essentially. P9’s seductive bass groove, transcendent synths and delicate vocals build into crashing riffs. The EP gently closes with a minimalistic piano arrangement analogous to something culled from Brian Eno’s Ambient 1 Music For Airports.
Effortlessly falling together Toledo Springs’s glimmering dream pop makes for a surprisingly strong EP from the New Zealand four-piece. Toledo Springs are currently working on a New Zealand Tour and a debut album expected to drop in February.
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