TOLEDO – Hotstuff

Led by Daniel Alvarez and Jordan Dunn-Pilz, Brooklyn-based band TOLEDO collide indie rock and pop to create a sound at once wistful and playful, all wrapped in a hazy glow. Their debut EP Hotstuff is a lesson in such a style, creating a tangible sense of nostalgia and emotion while maintaining a wry self-awareness too.

Nowhere is this clearer than on lead single, ‘Some Samurai’. With its rich tones and rose-tinted fondness for times now passed, the track serves as the perfect summer bummer gem on the surface, though dig a little deeper and there are other forces at work. The lo-fi aesthetic of the track’s video, by director/cinematographer Mike Vance, reinforce this feel, though the footage itself is altogether more tongue-in-cheek. Things are complicated further by the failing relationship at the heart of the track, the once sunny halcyon vibes swirled into something a little less ideal.

The mood is typical of the release. The title track opens with a languid, downbeat vibe, though the drums do kick in to provide a running rhythm, while ‘Knot’ leans into the lazy heartbreak, the eddies of tempo always falling back into dreamy lulls. The loose-limbed folk of ‘Que Pasa?’ leads into the electronic flourishes of ‘Bath’, the latter providing an increased sense of motion, a breeze lifting through the summer heat. Closer ‘Sick’ caps things off with a slow burn build, rising a luscious soundscape through which vocals and samples drift, memory let loose into the humid air.

Hotstuff is out now and you can listen via Spotify and Soundcloud.

Album art by Emma Hill