Toy (English band)

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Toy (Vienna 2012)
Toy performing at Waves Vienna in 2012
Background information
OriginBrighton, East Sussex, England
Years active2010 (2010)–present
LabelsHeavenly (2011-2018), Tough Love Records (2018-present)
Associated acts
  • Tom Dougall
  • Dominic O'Dair
  • Maxim Barron
  • Charlie Salvidge
  • Max Oscarnold
Past membersAlejandra Diez

Toy (stylised as TOY) are an English indie rock band from Brighton, East Sussex.[1] They have released three albums, an EP and a number of singles.[2] In 2015, the band collaborated with Natasha Khan on the Sexwitch project.[3]


The band was formed in 2010 in Brighton by school-friends and former Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong band members, singer/guitarist Tom Dougall (younger brother of Rose Elinor Dougall, formerly of The Pipettes), guitarist Dominic O'Dair and bassist Maxim "Panda" Barron along with Gloucester born drummer Charlie Salvidge and Spanish keyboard player[4] Alejandra Diez.[5] Salvidge had previously presented "The Sixties Show" on Bristol radio station BCFM, and played with punk band Mudfite.[6] Shortly after, the band moved to London and six months later signed to Heavenly Records.

The band's first live performance was at London venue, The Lexington, in support of The Heartbreaks in December 2010. The band played at festivals in 2011 including Field Day and supported The Horrors on their UK autumn tour.[7][8] The Horrors played a big role during the band's first years, supporting and helping them, as Diez stated.[9] The band's debut single, "Left Myself Behind", was released in 2011 by Heavenly Records, the initial pressing of 100 selling out in a day.[10] It was reissued in January 2012. The single was described by The Guardian as "excellent...recalls some kind of late-80s/early-90s jam session between Stereolab, Felt and Pulp".[11]

The band were picked as one of NME's "100 New Bands You Have to Hear" in January 2012, with Rhys Webb of The Horrors describing them as "the most exciting band to come out last year" and "my favourite band for 2012".[12]

The band's debut album, Toy, was released on 10 September 2012, to critical acclaim. The album was recorded and mixed in two weeks.[4]

The band supported the indie rock band The Vaccines on their UK Tour in May 2013, which included a date at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena in London.

They announced the release of their second album, Join the Dots on 14 October 2013. It was released on 9 December in Europe and the UK, and the 17th in the USA.[13]

2014 the band toured Europe in a nine-week trip including a lot of places outside the usual tour scheme like Ljubljana and Bratislava. End of April they played their biggest show in the UK so far, the Shepherd's Bush Empire.[9] During the summer of 2014 the band played a number of European festivals.[9] The following year, the band continued to perform live sporadically while they continued work on their third record.[14] At the end of August 2015 the band were part of a collaboration with Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes and producer Dan Carey entitled Sexwitch.[15] It consists of a six-track cover album that was recorded in day by Carey and set for release on 25 September.[3]

Alejandra Diez announced her departure from the band via their official Facebook page on 23 September 2015, stating personal reasons.[16] Max Oscarnold of The Proper Ornaments (who have previously supported the band on tour) has since joined the band.

In August 2016 the band announced their third album and made the song "Fast Silver" available on streaming services.[17][18] It was followed by the song "I'm Still Believing" supported by a video directed by Bunny Kinney in September.[19] The band's third album Clear Shot appeared on 28 October 2016 and was produced by David Wrench.[20] The Guardian called the album "another fine effort from a band who are gradually building up an absorbing catalogue".[21] The LP release included the EP "Spellbound",[22] was followed by a tour in support in November through to December.[19][23]

The band left Heavenly Records in 2018.[24]

Musical style[edit]

The band's sound has been described as a combination of psychedelic rock, krautrock, shoegaze and post-punk.[7][8][25]




  • "Left Myself Behind b/w Clock Chime" (2011), Heavenly
  • "Motoring b/w When I Went Back" (April 2012), Heavenly
  • "Dead & Gone b/w Andrew Weatherall remix" (August 2012), Heavenly
  • "Lose My Way b/w Bright White Shimmering Sun" (September 2012), Heavenly
  • "Make It Mine E.P." (December 2012), Heavenly
  • "Heart Skips a Beat" (March 2013), Heavenly
  • "Join the Dots" (October 2013), Heavenly
  • "Sequence One" (October 2018), Tough Love Records


  1. ^ Phares, Heather. "TOY | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ "TOY (18)". Discogs. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b Snapes, Laura; Monroe, Jazz (24 August 2015). "Bat for Lashes Discusses Debut Sexwitch Album, Shares "Helelyos"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Baggs, Michael (2012) "Toy: 'We're already writing our second album'",, 28 June 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2013
  5. ^ Turner, Luke (19 January 2012). "Interview: Toy". The Stool Pigeon. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "From Mudfite to… Toy – Go On Charlie Salvidge!",, 23 May 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2013
  7. ^ a b "Field Day 2011: The Quietus Review", The Quietus, 11 August 2011, retrieved 15 January 2012
  8. ^ a b Lidbetter, Liam (2011) "The Horrors/TOY, Brighton, Concorde 2, 24/10/11", The Fly, 7 November 2011, retrieved 15 January 2012
  9. ^ a b c "Interview: Alejandra from TOY",, 28 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014
  10. ^ "WATCH: New Toy Video", The Quietus, 12 December 2011, retrieved 15 January 2012
  11. ^ Robinson, John (2012) "This Week's New Live Music", The Guardian, 14 January 2012, retrieved 15 January 2012
  12. ^ "100 New Bands You Have to Hear: UK 2012: Generation Next", NME, 7 January 2012, p. 38
  13. ^ "Join the Dots – TOY". Any Decent Music?. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  14. ^ Brussee, Bryan (31 July 2015). "TOY's Visions Mixtape & Q&A". The Quietus. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Watch Bat For Lashes & TOY Debut New Project Sexwitch At Green Man Festival – Stereogum". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Keyboardist Alejandra Diez leaves TOY". DIY. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  17. ^ "TOY – "Fast Silver"". 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  18. ^ "TOY announce third LP 'Clear Shot' (listen to "Fast Silver")". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  19. ^ a b Thomas-Mason, Lee (21 September 2016). "TOY share video to 'I'm Still Believing' from new album 'Clear Shot'". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  20. ^ Lewis, Henry (3 November 2016). "TOY interview: It feels good to be back". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  21. ^ Simpson, Dave (27 October 2016). "Toy: Clear Shot review – Brighton indie-psych quartet get darker and stranger". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  22. ^ "TOY (18) – Clear Shot". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  23. ^ "TOY @ Shacklewell Arms, London | Live Reviews | musicOMH". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^ "The best new acts to watch out for in 2012 Archived 6 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine", Time Out London, retrieved 15 January 2012
  26. ^ "Toy | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 February 2019.

External links[edit]