Tracklisted…with Toy Cars

News / Special Features / Tracklisted / September 8, 2016

Much like the classic mixtape, Tracklisted presents a collection of songs under a selected theme, which you can check out below. Click on the provided Spotify playlist and listen to this week’s arrangement while you read a few words about the selections.

Belmar, NJ four-piece Toy Cars crafts indie-minded pop songs that both hiss and howl. On their forthcoming EP, titled Sleeping Patterns, heartland rock’s gritty boom is greeted with a goofy sensibility that churns out odes to Bjork at the same rate jaunty shout-alongs (such as that on “Stone,” streaming below) threaten to rattle the rafters of a DIY basement. The guys in Toy Cars have helped MV rev up our first guest Tracklisted, serving up a selection of favorite tracks for tour (dates here) and for multipurpose fun and introspection — much like their September 16th release.

(We also asked Toy Cars to tell us about their favorite record stores, a storytelling journey you’ll be able to follow later today.)

The Playlist

The Breakdown
(Abridged By Choice, Explore the Rest!)

Matthew Caponegro

Local Natives — “Wide Eyes”
This has always been a favorite of mine. It’s the first song I ever heard from the band — everything from the opening guitar riff to their angelic three-part harmonies spoke to me instantly. It’s a song that does a great job of showcasing what the band is about and how much effort they put into their songwriting, while making it sound easy.
Brand New: “Bought a Bride”
This track captures what I look for in a loud, aggressive song. I am an instant sucker when it comes to Brand New’s fuzzy, distorted guitar riffs drowned in reverb, and even more so their vocal-straining hooks.

Matt DeBenedetti

Sharks — “Glove in Hand”
I first heard this song when I was in high school. I was listening to a lot of ’70s punk at the time — from the Ramones to the Clash — and my friend happened to show me Sharks, who somehow managed to sound straight out of the ’70s even though they weren’t only still an active band, they were also very young. Unfortunately they broke up before I had a chance to see them, yet they’re one of my favorite bands to this day.

Ryan Adams — “Kim”
I had a really cool opportunity to work at a huge festival at the Bowery Ballroom last year, where all the artists were covering Neil Young songs. Brian Fallon, Norah Jones, Ryan Miller and Butch Walker played. So many big names. Also on that list was Ryan Adams, who I unknowingly hung out with for an hour. Now, here we are a year later and he is one of my favorite artists, with this song in particular being a highlight. This whole record has a cool sound, and his band manages to make it sound like it’s from the ’80s by using lots of reverb, airy guitars and straight forward drum beats. I guess I like newer music that sounds like it’s from another, older era.

The Sidekicks — “1940s Fighter Jet/Diamond Eyes”
This band and this record had such an impact on me when I first began playing guitar and singing in a band. The reason I chose two songs here is because on the record they sort of flow right into each other, and they compliment each other’s moods so well that I thought it wouldn’t be right to include one and not the other. Lyrically, this band is one of the better young bands around, which is a big part of why I love them so much.

Mike Linardi

Bon Iver — “Re: Stacks”
Justin Vernon is one of my all time favorite musicians and this song is one of my top picks from his discography. It features very simple instrumentation but the lyrics and vocal performance are really what makes the song special. While this whole record is full of great songs, “Re: Stacks” just stands out to me. The lyrics in this song are very important to me and have changed meaning for myself in various times in my life. I think Justin will go down in history as one of our generation’s greatest songwriters.

Spoon — “Rent I Pay”
This may be one of the best opening songs I’ve ever heard on an album. I love how gritty this track sounds while keeping it still clear and slightly hi-fi.

Bad Books — “The After Party”
Bad Books is one my all time favorite bands. How could you not like a Manchester Orchestra/Kevin Devine collab? This song is just a straight ripper. Big choruses with big drums and big guitars. I love how this record as a whole keeps a slightly vintage rock ‘n’ roll vibe throughout its duration.

Toy Cars’ latest EP, titled “Sleeping Patterns,” is available on vinyl via Counter Intuitive Records and Sniffling Indie Kids. The run is limited to 300 total copies, split evenly between orange and transparent purple 7″ wax. Vinyl will ship in mid-October past the release’s September 16th street date, and can be pre-ordered here.

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James Cassar
James Cassar is Modern Vinyl's Managing News Editor and a co-host of The Modern Vinyl Podcast. He is also an artist manager, co-owner of the record label Near Mint, and can be found in bed before 9 p.m. James lives in Philadelphia and no, he won't check out your band if you add him on Facebook.

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