|Toothless||The Pace Of The Passing|
Toothless — The Pace Of The Passing (Jan. 26th, 2017) ♠ Solo project of Bombay Bicycle Club bassist Ed Nash, purveying lush, melancholic indie pop with electronic flourishes.Formed: 2014 in London, UK
Location: London, UK
Album release: January 26th, 2017
Record Label: Universal / Island
01. Charon 2:41
02. Sisyphus 3:26
03. Palm’s Backside (Feat. Marika Hackman) 4:02
04. Alright Alright Alright 3:54
05. The Midas Touch (Feat. Tom Fleming) 4:46
06. Party for Two (Feat. Liz Lawrence) 4:18
07. You Thought I Was Your Friend (I Want To Hurt You) 5:11
08. The Sun’s Midlife Crisis 4:54
09. The Sirens (Feat. The Staves) 4:06
10. Terra 4:42 © Bombay Bicycle Club, photo credit: Josh Shreeve ♠ There is little preparation for the strange flux that greets a musician when a band ends. For the past decade — since he was just 16 years old, Ed Nash had been known as the bassist for Bombay Bicycle Club, one of the UK’s most esteemed indie bands. But earlier this year, when the band announced that after four albums and endless tours they would be going on indefinite hiatus, Nash found himself faced with the curious task of working out what he wanted to do with his life. “And it was really strange,” he says. “It was only at the point when the band stopped that I actually made the decision to be a musician.”
♠ The problem, Nash is keen to point out, is that “no one really cares if the bass player’s going to do a solo project.” But it was through the acknowledgment of such preconceptions that Nash found the name Toothless — a name he describes as “kind of a joke to myself really” — a nod to the fact that some might expect the bass player’s solo album to be inconsequential, “that it wouldn’t have bite or substance, that it’s toothless.”
♠ Yet Nash’s debut is an unexpected and glorious thing; an album that reveals the secret musical life he lived away from his bandmates, full of “the musical ideas that would come to me, and lyrical ideas I’ve been collecting all my life.”
♠ The Pace of the Passing is more song cycle than a simple collection of tracks. It is marked by its sense of completeness — its themes and preoccupations extending from its lyrics and musical motifs right through to its artwork: thoughts of gathering time, of love and death and relationships past that draw on Greek myth, astronomy, and the work of Charles and Ray Eames, invite guest vocals from The Staves, Marika Hackman, Liz Lawrence, and Tom Fleming from Wild Beasts, and display a love for music that is fiercely melodic, multi~layered and fine~spun. Liz Lawrence
♠ It seemed natural then to follow this by writing the track Terra — a song about the point where the sun ends. “It’s looking at the passing of time, zooming in and out, at the idea of something being incredibly important to the individual but then in the grand scheme of things being less important. But then within that it’s also the most important thing in the world, because it’s important to you and you’re the person who matters.”
♠ Elsewhere, Nash draws on the myth of Sisyphus, the King of Ephyra, punished for self~aggrandisement by being forced to roll a boulder up a hill only to see it roll back down and start again, for eternity. “Really this song’s about friendship,” Nash explains. “It has the line ‘If you ever let go we’ll help you start again.’ It’s about helping people out, that no matter what someone does, no matter how many times they make mistakes you’ll always be there.”
♠ And in one of the album’s gems, Nash recruits The Staves to sing The Sirens, a modern~day interpretation of the Greek myth of the creatures who with their exquisite voices lured sailors to shipwreck on the rocks. “I wrote the song and thought I’ve got to get The Staves to sing on this — these three beautiful ladies, like modern~day sirens with the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard. But I didn’t know them at all. Then two days after I wrote the song they sent through a cover of a Bombay Bicycle Club song and said ‘We’d love to know what you think about it.’ So basically the universe stepped in to help me… It’s probably my favourite song on the album.”
♠ A project from the imagination of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash, the songwriter revealed a series of new cuts throughout 2016.♠ Debut album ‘The Pace Of The Passing’ arrives on January 26th, and it features guests such as Tom Fleming (Wild Beasts), Marika Hackman, and The Staves.
♠ New single ‘Sisyphus’ is online now, with Toothless adding the following statement: “‘Sisyphus~ is a Greek myth about a man whose punishment is to roll a boulder up a hill every day only for it to roll back down. I wanted to write a song with this story as the basis, but for it to be about a relationship between two people, not an individual’s daily struggle. This song is about always being there for someone no matter how many times they mess up, and no matter how inevitable it is that they will do it again.”
♠ “‘Sisyphus’ was the last song that I recorded for ‘The Pace Of The Passing’ and it very nearly didn’t make the cut. For about a year it existed as a terrible J~pop style recording that I loved but everyone else absolutely hated. After months of persuasion, I recorded this version. Am very pleased they persisted!” © Marika Hackman
Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash’s solo debut as Toothless has bite.
By Lauren Wade / 20 JANUARY 2017, 14:05 GMT; Score: 8/10
♠ Made up of a mixture of wistful acoustic melodies, swelling electronic instrumentals and throbbing basslines, Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash’s first solo venture isn’t worlds apart from his main band’s discography, but instead a variation on a theme that will have you falling hook, line and sinker for the long~overlooked indie bassist.
♠ On semi~acoustic opening track “Charon”, an air of laid~back artistic gloom is incorporated before lead single “Sisyphus” sees Nash up the tempo to a high which continues throughout the remainder of the record. Named after the Greek myth, “Sisyphus” is Toothless’ take on the tale of a man whose punishment it is to roll a boulder up a hill every day, only for it to roll back down again. Despite it being the last to be recorded, the track’s blistering guitar hooks and heady vocals make for a winning combination and is up there amongst the album’s finest moments.
♠ “Party For Two” is another bold moment that maintains the record’s seductive qualities. Featuring Liz Lawrence, who has previously toured with Bombay Bicycle Club, the track is peppered with honeyed harmonies and is an uplifting number that flourishes. Elsewhere, organic indie number “Alright Alright Alright” is another key player awash with moody intensity, while the sprawling masterpiece “Terra” seamlessly transitions to the album’s end.
♠ The Pace Of The Passing is an expansive and ambitious record that should delight fans of Bombay Bicycle Club but also pull in listeners not be so acquainted with his previous work. ♠ https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/toothlessband // Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toothlessband
|Toothless||The Pace Of The Passing|