Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from London’s, Toby Pearce. Stange Times was released on February 13 2023.
Strange Times is a deceptively simple but straight-to-the-heart track, it is the kind of song that can only come from a life lived. The feel of the song reminded us of Roger Hodgson – his solo work, as well as the songs he wrote when he was with Supertramp.
Strange Times starts with a warm acoustic, picked guitar. A subtle heartbeat-like percussion in the form of a kick drum fills out the low end nicely. We loved the ever-so-subtle incidental strings here. Everything about the track is subtle and understated. A light touch cymbal joins the mix and Toby’s warm and intimate vocals sweep you away.
There are some great lyrics in this track that truly build a picture. We particularly liked the line,
“Then I finally stopped messing around,
The apple cart turned upside down”
Some gorgeous harmonies are added in the chorus, again, very subtle, but enough to really bolster the lead vocal and make you pay extra attention to the choruses. There is a fantastic build into the chorus.
We loved the unexpected chord at the end of the build of the chorus – this was particularly Supertramp-like, and very well executed, to give the listener some extra interest.
The rise and fall within this track is subtle but works perfectly, for example, the drop at the end of the chorus that is led back in by the drums into another verse.
An instrumental section with a simple but highly emotive guitar solo brings the song to a close, with the repeated vocal line, “Strange Times” carried over the top to keep the listener thoroughly engaged to the very last chord.
Ideas from our ears
A hi-pass filter at 35Hz would remove any sub-bass rumble. The vocal track could use a couple of small cuts around 200-250Hz and again around 450-500Hz to control a couple of slight peaks. The tambourine which enters in the fuller sounding parts is a little piercing to our ears around 9-10kHz and again around 15-16kHz so maybe a low-pass filter set at 8kHz might help. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Toby Pearce was a new name to us today at the Send Me Your Ears studio, but we’re hooked! Strange Times is a quality timeless sounding track which has utterly won us over! We’re looking forward to hearing more from this talented British artist.