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We review the latest single from Toy Car – Somewhere In Between

Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Shaun Hough gives us a tempting taste of his new musical project Toy Car with the release of debut single ‘Somewhere In Between’. After fronting several other outfits in the past, Toy Car sees Hough take a darker, much more mature approach with a psychedelic twist on the indie rock genre.

Initially penned while staying with a mate in Manchester, the track explores “the tension of feeling misplaced”. A palpable tension felt in the almost pulsing, ever-evolving bassline and grooving guitar phrases that seem to climb and climb over the three-minute-plus run time. With vocals kicking in pretty much immediately, Hough has us hooked as he cheekily croons the opening line… “Take a little walk on the outside / Talk about breaking the rules”.

Lyrically laced with vivid yet ambiguous imagery throughout, the chorus is framed by a snappy drumbeat, wailing guitar licks and wistful echoes of “ooo’s”, as the vocals plead “Please don’t waste my time if I’m dead in the water”. Perhaps emphasising themes of feeling stuck or lost.

The track keeps an irresistibly toe-tapping pace up until the two-minute mark where Hough’s reverbed vocals are showcased with only the melancholic strum of an electric guitar for company. A thundering drumbeat soon kicks in as the track gathers pace once more and Toy Car is back in the race. With the addition of various layered backing vocals in the last chorus, it’s difficult not to get swept up in this explosive debut. ‘Somewhere In Between’ mixes pensive emotions with a thrillingly bold execution. Definitely a song to be played at full volume.  

There’s a retro vibe to Toy Car, a sound that feels both familiar and refreshing. And with two more singles expected this year followed by a seven track EP – this first track is quite the appetiser.