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I Ya Toyah – Code Blue (album review)

You should know by now (and if you don’t, the you’ll never, never know), the Rubber Axe webzine is quite broad in its embrace of various genres. If something resonates with us, then it’s good and we’ll definitely want to write about it.

Today yours truly is listening to a debut album of I Ya Toyah, one-woman strong project from Chicago, USA, which once again confirms the fact that under the cover of mainstream there is thriving living underground of unknown, less-known, obscure, up-and-coming artists producing material well worth checking out.

On her Bandcamp page we can find following regarding the album:

Code Blue takes you on an intimate journey through the chapters of inner darkness and struggle, caused by social distortions, depression and suicidal nature. Consisting of ten tracks, debut album reflects the story that is deeply personal, revealing the residue of tragedies that touched I Ya Toyah in her own life. It features the untamed mix of haunted and powerful vocals, electronic, groovy beats and powerful synths combined with hypnotizing guitars that give the feel of dark, surreal and mysterious atmosphere.”

While I can’t say much about the background of the album from the Ania’s personal point of you (that’s why it’s called personal and intimate, isn’t it), though I wholeheartedly agree with dark, surreal and mysterious atmosphere.

The album has two great assets to go for it. First is the variability of music. It never even hints on the repetitiousness and its ability to pull listeners in and surround them with the atmosphere never weakens. Second asset are the vocals, powerful, intense and to me, in some places, sounding like Alison Moyet (and you should know that’s a compliment, not a minus).

Lyrically, this is not a funny album and will resonate will anyone who have experienced depression, anxiety, been abused … but even with such deep troublesome themes one can find a consolation here. It’s “we’re in it together” bonding between the artist and listeners.

If you ask me to pick up some favourites, it’s gonna be a hard task – “Rebel”, “Puppet” with its minimalistic start and “Farewell – Mirrors Don’t Lie”. That being written doesn’t mean you will find fillers here. Every song stands on its own and is well worth of listening to.

But don’t just take my word for it. Have a listen for yourself.

Find it on Bandcamp: https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/album/code-blue-album

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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