Say Psych: Album Review: BOYTOY – Night Leaf

BOYTOY release their second LP Night Leaf this week on Stolen Body Records. The LP was born on a ranch in Topanga Canyon, California, surrounded by three dogs, two pigs, nostalgic tones of warm tube amps, analogue tape machines and a slew of old trucks, RV’s, and surfboards – and with a beginnging like that, it’s sure to be interesting. Founding member Saara Untracht-Oakner (vocals, guitar) and Glenn Michael Van Dyke (vocals, guitar), were joined by Chase Noelle (drums, ex-Thelma and The Sleaze) and Lena Simon (bass, La Luz), to record at producer Kyle Mullarky’s renowned Pump House Studio.

Since 2014, BOYTOY have released a self-titled EP, their debut LP Grackle, in 2015 and several 7” singles with various labels including Little Dickman, Bob Records and Swiss label Sacred Hood Records. They’ve spent the last three years touring extensively across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, the UK and Europe, hitting SXSW, Growlers Six Festival and Northside Festival.

Opening with ‘It’s Alright’, they waste no time delivering a dose of California sunshine delivered with its catchy vocal harmonies and organ melody and uncomplicated guitar riffs which capture the imagination. Lead track ‘Mary Anne’ is a stripped back number, painfully simplistic yet incredibly affective – this is how to get the most from sound. ‘I Get Distance’ has a pleasing bounce created by buoyant guitars and ‘Static Age’ channels almost punk vibes, blended seamlessly with psychedelia to produce an edgy number which oozes attitude. This is continued in ‘NY Rip Off’ channels more than a touch of The Rolling Stones, and might be about a pretence, but there is nothing fake about this track.

‘Pretty One’ starts strong with striking dual guitar interplay which carries it through to the vocals which change the pace somewhat, again utilising the minimalist approach to create strong tracks. ‘Get Off Your Leash’ is somewhat different from its predecessor, yet no interesting, with evocative lyrics and a catchy countenance that is sure to set feet a tapping. ‘Juarez’ is nicely placed to follow, with a similar vibe and plenty of sway and swagger to boot. ‘Want’ features probing vocal repetition before ‘Cold Love’ takes the pace down a notch or two, with added synth provenance and heart breakingly beautiful lyrics.

BOYTOY may be relatively unknown up to this point in the UK, but the release of Night Leaf is certain to change that, especially given the fact that bands such as L.A. Witch and Death Valley Girls, to whom this LP has several parallels, have recently proved so popular.


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