Album Review: Toy Horses – Toy Horses

By on Thursday, 1st March 2012 at 12:00 pm

They’re one of the best things to come out of Wales in a good while, and no, they are not Tom Jones. They’re Toy Horses: Adam D. Franklin and his stepdad Tom Williams are the principal protagonists in this story and this story is about brilliant pop music.

On first listen to their self-titled, I am already hooked; on my second listen, I discovered the beautiful lyrics; on third listen I sat back and enjoyed myself; on fourth listen, the realization set in that this was a piece of work that people NEED to hear. Track ‘Interrupt’ (live version from Berlin in this previous Live Gig Video) is a piece of quintessential pop, quickly transcending their billing as an indie act. It borders on psychedelia, but there are no tricks apparent. The vocals are magical and it’s difficult describing just how much of a good mood it puts you in.

But the same can be said of the entire album; it’s hard to pick out a song that doesn’t have its merits. But ‘Interrupt’ is by far the best example of what this album is about, beautiful pianos which have me harping back to the Beatles, and I don’t say this lightly. (First-ever Beatles comparison in a review. Ever.) Single ‘And It Was You’ (review here) is a slow-burning number, full of charm, and again, it’s much like the rest of the record.

Adam and Tom’s vocals mix perfectly on ‘Damage Done’: the bass hums along keeping the pace nicely, while Adam and Tom’s vocals continue to soar above the music. Toy Horses’ music translates best on their upbeat pacey numbers. However, when the pace is slowed down in ‘Last Chance’, an acoustic number, the album loses its charm somewhat.

The album as a whole is easy listening, and that statement is not to detract from the merits of this record. Its beauty isn’t harsh on the ear and is easily digestible for the harshest music buff to your casual Radio1 listener on the Greg James show.

Their casual ‘60s-ish sound is something that isn’t around at the moment, giving Toy Horses a unique platform and niche from which to enter the mainstream. Rave reviews of their live performance have already come from last year’s South by Southwest and from listening to this album, it’s difficult not to see why the reviews have been so favourable.

A thoroughly enjoyable listen, to which revisiting is a must.


The self-titled debut from Toy Horses is available now from Albino Sparrow. Their March UK tour starts tonight at Manchester Roadhouse; all the details of the tour are here.

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