Toucans – EP Review (Published in Now Then Magazine)

Published article in issue 90 out now and available here : http://nowthenmagazine.com/sheffield/issue-90/albums/

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TOUCANS

TOUCANS
SELF RELEASED

The new self-titled release by Sheffield acid folk outfit Toucans opens up with the dark and hypnotic ‘Are The Flowers Dead Yet?’, the layered vocals bringing a She and Him meets Belle and Sebastian on meth vibe. It’s distant, interesting and slightly endearing.

The scratchy vinyl tone continues through ‘Meet Me By The River’ and ‘Welcome’. Both tracks hold a certain stoned dreariness to them, culminating in a peaceful drifting away, bringing visions of an impromptu jam by the barely mobile at a house party at 5am – the sound of those who would have slept if they could.

‘Open Skin’ holds a mysterious Charles Manson-esque charm (check outLie: The Love and Terror Cult to see what I mean). It’s not clear what percussion is used, but it builds throughout the track in an extremely sinister way, before disappearing completely.

The chirping nature sounds sampled and looped on ‘The Bridge Back Home’ are mixed with simple acoustic chords and delicate vocals, delivering a much-needed lighter note to the album, before we dive back into the macabre with ‘I Don’t Believe In That’. This one-minute country gem is brief and beautifully bleak: “I went to see my relatives today and they couldn’t talk to me / All that there was left behind was burnt bones and teeth.”

The closing track, ‘Beaten to Leather’, is the most enthusiastic. Bursting with obscure chimes, a lead bass line and stomping rhythm, it’s a fun and rather messy crescendo. Toucans bring the sound of authentic, homemade drug pop, and they do it well.

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