Artist: The Toy Hearts
Label: Wood Ville Music
It has been two years since we were last treated to an album from The Toy Hearts but this week sees the sister from Birmingham with Whiskey.
And this time around they have diverted a little from their Bluegrass roots as they have incorporated more Swing and Country into this new album as they show that they don’t just stick to one genre.
Bring On The Swing is the opening track on the album and after a measured opening verse the country beat kicks in.
The instrumentation is once again excellent as guitars are mixed with strings to give the track that swing feel - throw in fantastic vocals from Hannah and you have s superb first track.
Bring On The Swing once again shows off The Toy Hearts’ great writing ability as there is a catchy as well as a fantastic harmony that you just get swept away in.
Whiskey is the title track on the album and this is a fantastic ballad that s one of the strongest tracks on this great album.
Many fans of the band will know them for working mainly acoustically and it is nice to see them flesh out their sound a little with this new album - and Whiskey shows this off perfectly.
They have kept things very simple, trust me there is not awful over production here, the songs just have a little more depth with the amount of instruments that exist on this opening two tracks alone.
The guitars and the strings support the vocals so beautifully and there is a real easiness and laid back feel to the opening couple of track - it really is the perfect start to the album.
Over the years The Toy Hearts have shown off their writing ability but this time around they have penned half the tracks while the other half are covers.
I Hear You Talkin’ is the first of the covers on the album written by Cindy Walker it was a track made famous by Bob Wills and it is much quicker than the original as The Toy Hearts put their own stamp on the track.
Big Fool is a cover of the Ronnie Self track and the original was a real rockabilly but this time around the band has put steel guitars on there to give it even more of a country flavour.
And it works really well as Big Fool has a real energy to it and the new instrumentation really helps bring it to life.
All of the songs that the band have covered except Me And My Gin by Bessie Smith were all sung by men so female vocals and arrangements to suit The Toy Hearts’ vocal style immediately makes that different from the originals.
Whiskey is an album that shows off The Toy Hearts at their versatile best as they incorporate elements of Bluegrass, swing, jazz, blues and country to produce this feel good record that is unlike anything else around at the moment.
This is an album that shows real development by the band in terms of their sound and while they do move away from their Bluegrass roots they don’t deviate too far from - so it will keep their loyal fans happy whilst appealing to a completely new set of fans with this sound.
Whisky is an album that is not to be missed!!
The Toy Hearts - Whiskey is out now
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw