New album: Toby Vest || False Regime

You may know Memphis songwriter/producer/engineer Toby Vest of psychedelic garage rock band Tiger High, who recorded some fine records in the first half of the 2010’s. But since then he has also released four albums under the Shadow Brother moniker and other collaborative projects such as Detective and The Bulletproof Vests, as well as producing music by numerous other artists/bands. It had to happen, today he released False Regime, the first LP under his own name. It’s a debut that sounds completely different from the Tiger High stuff: no lo-fi guitar violence, but eleven perfect pop songs, rich, soulful and orchestral. I asked Toby about that:

“This album was very influenced by the mid 60’s California Wrecking Crew era of production. Albums like Pet Sounds and Forever Changes are constantly referenced when people talk about this period, so it’s not like I’m re- inventing the wheel or anything, haha! The work of the Wrecking Crew on songs/albums by the Association, the Monkees, the Grass Roots, etc., and the production work of Curt Boettcher on albums by the Millennium, Sagittarius, and the Left Banke were major influences along with Scott Walker’s Scott 4. Outside of the production influences I think the way those producers and the Wrecking Crew approached song arrangements was another thing I wanted to bring to my songwriting on this album. In order to do that I had to call on my own wrecking crew* of musicians here in Memphis and they are really responsible for bringing the arrangements to life.”

Here speaks a real musician. Even if he taps from another barrel, the brew is very tasty. You could call the new work of the skilled multi-instrumentalist baroque pop; it breathes the late 60’s, with a psych edge. Anyway, this is very pleasant music, melodic, colorful, melancholic and mind-blowing. Stream the full album below.

“All your stars stay broken // Prisoners of your unrequited dreams // All your faith is stolen // Seen it a 1000 times // Lived a 1000 lives // What’s one more false regime” (from: Pennies In The Well)

*Toby Vest wrote, produced, and sang all the songs, and played acoustic guitar, piano, mellotron, vibraphone, and percussion. Horn arrangements were done by Marc Franklin and Art Edmaiston (Gregg Allman, Dolemite score), string arrangements by Krista Wroten and Jana Misener (Memphis Dawls), who also added background vocals to a couple songs. Most of the piano and organ parts were played by Rick Steff (Lucero). Electric Guitars by Jeff Schmidtke, Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady) and John Whittemore (Neighborhood Texture Jam, Reigning Sound), bass by brother Jake Vest. Drums and Percussion by Shawn Zorn (Amy Lavere, Twin Forks) and Rory Sullivan. Background vocals by Luke White (Snowglobe, Spiral Stairs) and Chris Milam.

False Regime is out now through American Grapefruit. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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