Photos by Casey Mathewson. Click for high-res versions.
Currently booking worldwide. UK/Europe Booking:
Manus Leupert / Kojinmari Agency
info [at] kojinmari-agency [dot] com
Elsewhere: toby [at] kayodot [dot] net
Toby Driver They Are the Shield [September 21, 2018]
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The artist behind such infamous, progressive, cult, chamber-oriented projects as maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot injected new life into his long-dormant solo project early last year with his first album in a decade.
Driver returns with They Are the Shield, the prolific composer's first album in over twelve years that harks back to songwriting structures developed and perfected in his maudlin of the Well days.
Notes of singer-songwriter sensibilities simmer beneath a fog of synthesizers, expansive soundscapes, lush chamber orchestrations, and sullen atmospheres, punctuated and driven with a soft percussive heartbeat.
Imagine Bob Dylan deconstructed. Imagine motW without the metal or Kayo Dot without the chaos.
Toby Driver returns with one of the strongest entries in his abundant and celebrated career, signifying a complete evolution into artistic maturity. They Are the Shield delivers experimental chamber songs for the darkest of autumn days, recounting the rare and ethereal essence of such eminent luminaries as Ulver, Kauan, and Olafur Arnalds.
- Track list:
- Anamnesis Park
- 470 Nanometers
- Scaffold of Digital Snow
- Smoke-Scented Mycelium
- The Knot
Listen to "Glyph," see a new photo, and read the write-up courtesy of Heavy Blog.
TOBY DRIVER is best known as the frontman and bandleader of the prolific experimental band, Kayo Dot (ex-maudlin of the Well). In the past two decades, he has masterfully explored the limitlessness of music, from weird metal to beautiful post-rock, from austere ballads to tripped-out 70s fusion and beyond. He has worked with a number of forward-thinking luminaries including Trey Spruance (Secret Chiefs 3), John Zorn, G. Stuart Dahlquist (Burning Witch, Asva), Jeremiah Cymerman, Mario Diaz de Leon, Gyan Riley, and many more, and his music appeared as part of Peter Hopkins Miller's installation, Stained Glass, in the 2017 edition of the Venice Biennale. Throughout his many projects: maudlin of the Well, Vaura (with Kevin Hufnagel (from Gorguts)), Stern (with Chuck Stern from Time of Orchids), The Tanks (with Ches Smith and Brandon Seabrook), Clefter (with Gyan Riley and Timba Harris (from Secret Chiefs 3)), Tartar Lamb, free-improv trio Bloodmist (with Jeremiah Cymerman and Mario Diaz de Leon), his solo works, and most of all Kayo Dot, Driver's adventurousness shines brightly. Whereas most musicians attach an identity to themselves in terms of scene or style, Driver's music is the sound of the abandonment of identity, and the refusal to answer the question "Who are you?" Paradoxically, perhaps his defining characteristic as a composer and musician is this fearlessness of looking into the unknown.
As a solo performer, on guitar, keyboard, and voice, Driver has been exploring dark, austere neofolk akin to Grouper, Talk Talk, Current 93, and others, with a subtle progressive and unsettling edge.