Tag Archives: Toby Driver

Kayo Dot’s Epic, Experimental Metal: A Retrospective

Kayo Dot

As the sole constant member of the genre-hopping, experimental-metal project Kayo Dot, Toby Driver has made it his mission to circumvent the obvious. This is a band that can swing wildly from operatic doom through neoclassical space-rock to outright electro prog, often within the course of a single epic track; the lyrical depth, whether delivered via growls, croons, or sung in falsetto, is less likely to have audiences waving their cigarette lighters than reaching for the nearest dictionary. (The vocabulary of Kayo Dot’s new album, Blasphemy, includes words like “circumambulation.”) 

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Album of the Day: Toby Driver, “They Are the Shield”

At its core, They Are the Shield is an album of touching ballads—an idiosyncratic fork in Toby Driver’s career as an experimental producer. On Shield, Driver’s compositions are fluid, hazily reminiscent of his earlier works but reshaped and tinged with goth, industrial, and art-pop. “Anamnesis Park” is a captivating cut driven forward by the melancholy dance of Pauline Kim Harris’s and Conrad Harris’s violins, underscored by a warm, synthetic backdrop. The arrangement feels dense and captivating: the bass and percussion are a fitting stage for Driver’s silvery voice and cryptic lyrics.

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