Track by Track is a recurring feature series offering artists a platform to take us through every song on their latest release. Today, TOLEDO’s Dan Álvarez de Toledo breaks down their debut album, How It Ends.
Indie rock duo TOLEDO have released their debut album, How It Ends, today (September 23rd). Draped in dreaminess and subdued sounds, the Brooklyn group’s initial effort is a statement introduction and a stellar piece of folk music that’s equal parts melancholic and whimsical.
How It Ends’ 12-track runtime is a warm and welcoming experience that draws inspiration from the likes of Gotye to David Bowie. But even with their touch of nostalgia throughout, Dan Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz’s approach feels their own, distinct from other albums of the genre. The tones of wistfulness are amplified by the band’s process and personal anecdotes that went into crafting the tracks.
de Toledo tells Consequence that the difficulty in “L-Train” — one of the earlier tracks made for the album — came with crafting the perfect chorus. Once getting over the hump, TOLEDO’s final product is a buoyant-sounding track that pays homage to New York.
“It’s kind of our love letter to moving into NYC,” de Toledo says. “We wrote it in our first year here and it revolved around our adjustment to the city.”
de Toledo also remembers the “pretty intense and haunting” feeling surrounding “Flake.” The malaise-like instrumental only amplifies the haunting vocals that de Toledo wishes could have been bleaker. “It’s a song that still haunts us to this day cause it could be even more emo if we leaned into it,” he explains. “I guess we are too soft for distortion.”
The tenderness of How It Ends results in a heartfelt effort that evokes an array of emotions with each track. TOLEDO manages to create an album on a personal level beyond the individual experiences of the band’s members. Rather than feel like peering in from the outside, it invites you in on that cold fall night and asks you to sit by the fire to hear tales of sorrow and joy.
Stream How It Ends below while reading TOLEDO’s full Track by Track breakdown. You can pick up a physical copy of the LP here.