August 15, 2013

EP: Toxie - Playground

Get lost in the hazy waves of Toxie's Playground EP. 

I'm home in Florida for a few weeks and I have discovered the perfect way to escape the oppressive heat: hole yourself up in your teenage bedroom and listen to Toxie's Playground EP. The Memphis-based band is composed of Alexandra Burden, Ben Bauermeister, Will McElroy (both formerly of Magic Kids), with Madison Farmer (of Coasting – does anyone know what these guys are up to now??) providing dreamy rhythm guitar. The group's first single, "Newgate," surfaced last August, and since then, the group has developed its sound and created an extremely catchy indie pop/post-punk/garage pop whatever EP.

The name Toxie first reminded me of The Toxic Avenger and old Roxy swimsuit ads, so I still kinda imagine a cool toxic waste surfer girl when I listen to this EP. Like my imaginary chill mutant, Playground is a combination of melodic sunshine and hazy delinquency. I'm not a musician, but I think every song on Playground sounds different. Maybe I'm wrong and the rhythmic patterns or whatever are all the same, but for me, the albums flows very easily because of Toxie's ability to jump from heavy reverb to bubbly pop. The songs "Playground" and "Haunted" use shimmery synth to create a vaguely spooky sound, like if Casper was in a new wave band. Indie pop lyrics are often overshadowed by the innocent tunes that carry the song (see Heavenly's "Hearts and Crosses" for example); "Monday Afternoon" is a great example of this. It is the most explicitly poppy song on the EP, but is full of sexually precocious lyrics like “teach you how to climb a tree / you'll put your hands all over me". All these songs have great moments – the stop and start guitar on "Tearing Up The Streets"! The reversed melody on "Boy Up" is like something out of Twin Peaks! Alexandra Burden's deadpan vocals make me want to give the world my best bitchface while eating a popsicle because Toxie just makes me feel happy even when I'm feeling too lazy to move.


Listen to more from Toxie on bandcamp

Written by Quinn Moreland