“…this little gem arrives somewhat disheveled and scuffed, the skewed melodic terrains point to a power pop prowess scratched and splintered by a disorientating off kilter soft psyche hue…” – Losing Today
Toby Richardson represents an important part of Perth music history via pivotal 90’s band Mustang! who releasing the EP “Jacuzzi International Presents Mustang!” through Survival Records in 1994. His debut EP Golden Days is a 6 track lo-fi rock opus. With all the playful charm of Robert Pollard and the wirey choreography of Pavement, Richardson removes all pretension and carves his own special shape into the indie rock landscape.
The Stones And The Rabbits
‘Young Sweet Lovers’ kicks off proceedings with all of Toby Richardson’s delicious trademark ingredients: booming drums, fuzzy guitar lines and just-rolled-out-of-bed vocal delivery, married to wonderfully skewed melodicism and Richardson’s innate sense of songcraft. The lead riff is tasty enough, stumbling drunkenly through its extended coda, but the song’s apex comes with its slide guitar lines that weave woozily around fuzz bass. The title track features one of Richardson’s catchiest hooks to date, plus plenty of meandering, harmonised guitar soloing that splits the difference between Dinosaur Jr and an ether-soaked country hoe-down. The track’s disarming lack of pretense plays against Richardson’s affected take on rock as wailing guitars and driving chords quaver and bend in and out of shape. ‘Wrong Highway Road’ dials back the irreverence, soaking in its gorgeous fuzzy reflections upon a spooked-out night drive, “halfway to nowhere”. The track feels like The Doors playing with a gun to their heads. Next up, single ‘King Of All The Moves’ is like a garage band falling endlessly down a cartoon staircase. The track pays homage to dirty rock while turning it inside out and painting it with jelly, creating a soundtrack to some unimaginable ‘70s cop show filled with sequins, half-naked dancers and possibly a dolphin. ‘Managaha Island’ rounds out this addictive EP in style, tumbling and shimmying with tousle-haired insights and off-hand melodic grace.
With his inimitable lo-fi stylings, Richardson has produced another indie-rock gem. The album’s skewed melodicism is married to an amazing sense of songcraft that reawakens the listener to the invigorating possibilities of rock ’n’ roll. With all the playful irreverence of Robert Pollard and Pavement, Evergreen sees Toby laying down 10 songs of irrepressible lo-fi stadium rock. The album features wonky fist-in-the-air anthems that blend the catchy attack of The Kinks with the bluesy skronk of Captain Beefheart, through to bent pop-fuelled love songs that wind their way into your aorta like cupid’s heartworm. Richardson has managed to strip the skin from classic rock ’n’ roll, cover it in fur, jewels and barbed wire and ride it through a casino. The unbridled, irrepressible feel of this album is hard to deny.
Debut EP from ex Mustang guitarist Toby Richardson. Featuring the single, ‘It Makes the Air Sound Better’, Golden Days is a lo-fi rock opus.
The spark that started Toby Richardson’s musical journey came from the inexorable flame of the Perth rock scene. Seeing bands like The Stems, The Marigolds, Chad’s Tree, The Healers and touring acts such as Ed Kuepper and The Yard Goes On Forever in the late ’80s captured his imagination. This was a revelation of the immediate power and excitement that live rock ‘n’ roll can create – and what a great setting it provides for drinking beer.With his brother Mark playing in bands Chant and Be Happy and Grin, Toby decided to give it a crack himself. Due to the informal nature of the rock industry back then, it was almost like he’d only just busted out a few chords before he and his cronies hit the stage. Running on borrowed equipment and Austudy cheques, his first band Pool Flotation Device played three gigs, got a decent review and broke up.
Toby then joined already established band Mustang! Other band members were Chris Gorman on drums, John Henderson (later Mike Staude) on lead guitar, Chris Gorman on drums and Hamish Fitzsimmons on bass. At that time Toby and his band mates were influenced by artists such as Teenage Fanclub, Pere Ubu, Urge Overkill, Television, Big Star, Captain Beefheart and Dinosaur Jr. Mustang! soon got a decent following through art school crowds and a bit of harmless hype in local rock press. They also had some catchy tunes and plenty of volume – Toby now suffers from tinnitus as a result. Some of the venues they played were The Shenton Park, The Old Melbourne, The Grosvenor, The Firm and The Loft. Their Rock cohorts were bands such as Baked, O!, Wormfarm, Bluetile Lounge, Wooden Fische and Benji.
Of this group of bands a collective known as Jacuzzi International was formed. This was basically a good excuse to party, and an easy way to organise gigs. The name was simply derived from the enjoyable practice JI members had of sharing a jacuzzi with friends at JI parties.
Hidden Shoal is incredibly honoured to have been selected as one of Textura’s Ten Favourite Labels of 2018. Textura is, in our opinion, the premiere new music magazine and favourite of the label team for unearthing and exposing new and exciting new music. This is the second time Hidden Shoal has been selected in Textura’s best labels list and as always we are nestled against some other very special labels, all of who you should check out.
Now for a very brief and unnecessary acceptance speech – we are nothing without our incredible roster of artists, who continually amaze, inspire and surprise us. Thank you all!
Hidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.
From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.
Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.
Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists. For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).Continue reading →
Hidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.
Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!Continue reading →
Throughout the month of May 2012, Hidden Shoal Recordings is celebrating its sixth birthday. Later in the month will be the release of the latest free sampler album, Triangulating Nature, which compiles 12 singles released over the last 12 months. Other delicious surprises will be revealed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more info.
Since starting up in Perth, Western Australia in 2006, Hidden Shoal has developed an enviable roster of genre-defying global and local recording artists. With 40+ acts from 10+ different countries, ranging from British ambient artist Antonymes through to American musical experimentalist Todd Tobias and beyond, the committed team at Hidden Shoal continues to play an integral role in promoting exciting new independent music.Continue reading →
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 30% discount. Flavoursome!
In 2009, Hidden Shoal continued to release stunning music from around the world, including debut Hidden Shoal albums from Hotels, HC-B, Tarcutta, Sleeping Me, City Of Satellites and Elisa Luu, sophomore albums from Jumpel and Wes Willenbring, a third album from Sankt Otten, and EPs from Stray Ghost and Down Review (a new collaboration between Arc Lab’s Medard Fischer and Near The Parenthesis’ Tim Arndt).
2009 was also notable for the release of our compilation album A Million Square Miles, a project endeavouring to showcase Western Australian talent to the US (the titular million square miles). After more than three years of sharing independent music far and wide, A Million Square Miles represented a key facet of the Hidden Shoal Recordings story. The album brings together a pair of tracks from each of the then eight WA-based artists on the Hidden Shoal roster: Mukaizake, Apricot Rail, Fall Electric, Glassacre, Toby Richardson, My Majestic Star, The Slow Beings and Tangled Star.
2009 also saw Hidden Shoal join forces with The Caribbean and Scott Solter in a single EP. This not only began a special relationship with the wonderful The Caribbean and created an ongoing avenue for them to release some of their more experimental offerings, but it also began the label’s relationship with Scott Solter, which eventually led us to Boxharp (Scott Solter and Wendy Allen).
HSR046: Jumpel Deuxieme BureauContinue reading →
HSR047: Hotels Where Hearts Go Broke
HSR048: HC-B Soundcheck For A Missing Movie
HSR049: The Caribbean Scott Solter Re-Populates The Caribbean EP
HSR050: Sleeping Me Cradlesongs
HSR051: Tarcutta Tarcutta
HSR052: Tangled Star That Time EP
HSR053: Apricot Rail Apricot Rail
HSR054: Down Review From Here, For Anyone EP
HSR055: Sankt Otten Morgen Wieder Lustig
HSR056: Elisa Luu Chromatic Sigh
HSR057: Various artists A Million Square Miles
HSR058: Wes Willenbring Close, But Not Too Close
HSR059: Stray Ghost Each Paradise Is A Lost Paradise EP
HSR060: Mukaizake Unknown Knowns
HSR061: City Of Satellites Machine Is My Animal
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, during the month of May we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases covered below will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 35% discount. Flavoursome!
2008 saw the release of a fresh new raft of superb albums and EPs, including those by new signings The Slow Beings, Fall Electric and City Of Satellites from Australia, Ghost In The Water and Rich Bennett from the USA, and RL/VL from Ireland. HSR stalwarts Tangled Star, Toby Richardson, My Majestic Star, Iretsu, Slow Dancing Society and Sankt Otten all followed up with some of their most critically acclaimed work. And at the end of the year we released compilation album East–West Section, volume four in our free download series.
As acclaim for our artists spread internationally, we were delighted to hear that prominent New York radio host DJ Mojo dubbed the label “this generation’s 4AD”. As huge fans of the classic label, this was a massive and humbling compliment.
HSR031: Tangled Star Our Man In Eden Hill EPContinue reading →
HSR032: Toby Richardson Evergreen
HSR033: Ghost In The Water Tooth
HSR034: The Slow Beings We Know Why The Earth Moves
HSR035: Iretsu Name Our Numbers, Numbers EP
HSR036: Slow Dancing Society Priest Lake Circa ’88
HSR037: My Majestic Star Too Late, The Day
HSR038: Rich Bennett Music For Underwater Supermarkets
HSR039: Sankt Otten Eine Kleine Traurigkeit
HSR040: RL/VL Chagrin
HSR041: Fall Electric Measure And Step
HSR042: City Of Satellites The Spook EP
HSR043: Sankt Otten Tiefgang EP
HSR044: Ghost In The Water Cardinal Red EP
HSR045: Various artists East–West Section
As part of our 5th birthday celebrations, over the coming weeks we’ll be looking back at the history of Hidden Shoal, year by year, casting some light on artists and releases that may have been overlooked. For one week, all releases from the year covered will be available from the Hidden Shoal Store with a 50% discount. Flavoursome!
Hidden Shoal Recordings began in Perth, Western Australia in May 2006. The motivation behind starting the label was to release music by Hidden Shoal’s very own Cam Merton (Glassacre), Stu Medley (Motor Eye) and Mal Riddoch (Enargeia). Friends Wayne Harriss, Chris Mason, Toby Richardson and Craig Hallsworth (Tangled Star) soon came on board, with the first swathe of Hidden Shoal releases dominated by Perth-based talent.
The first year of operation also saw the signing of our first international artists, Slow Dancing Society – who has since gone on to release four critically acclaimed albums– and Italian math-rockers Dilatazione.
HSR001: Wayne Harriss Aerospace
HSR002: My Majestic Star Ideas Are The Answer
HSR003: Motor Eye Motor Eye
HSR004: Chris Mason Up Down Up
HSR005: Glassacre Slow Attack EP
HSR006: Enargeia UFO: Stryker Force
HSR007: Toby Richardson Golden Days EP
HSR008: Various artists The Least Vestige of Land
HSR009: Enargeia Gulag! 25.9.98
HSR010: Slow Dancing Society The Sound Of Lights When Dim
HSR011: Dilatazione Too Emotional For Maths
HSR012: Tangled Star It’s Now or Later EP
Twelve releases in the first eight months? We started as we meant to continue!Continue reading →
To coincide with the label’s 5th birthday celebrations, Hidden Shoal is proud to announce the release of the latest installment in its free downloadable sampler album series. Hydrozoa compiles 18 singles released over the last 18 months and lovingly sequences them into an epic journey. The album is divided into two sides, each a distinct listening experience in its own right – or, if you choose to digest the album in its entirety, it’s a graduated ride from the ambient and minimal all the way through to the widescreen and guitar-fuelled. Whichever way you slice it, Hydrozoa is a compelling creature.
Featuring Antonymes, Boxharp, City of Satellites, Elisa Luu, Hotels, Iretsu, Jumpel, Liam Singer, Markus Mehr, Mukaizake, My Majestic Star, Rich Bennett, Salli Lunn, Slow Dancing Society, Stray Ghost, Toby Richardson, Umpire and Wes Willenbring, Hydrozoa touches all the bases that make the Hidden Shoal roster unique, and massages them into a broad-ranging and utterly engaging whole. The release accompanied by a pdf booklet containing stunning artwork by Hidden Shoal’s Stuart Medley.
Download the sampler here.Continue reading →
Toby Richardson’s latest installment of irreverent rock goodness The Stones and the Rabbits has been featured on New York’s awesome BreakThru Radio. The EP was played in full on the excellent TransPacific show which features all the best music coming out of Australia. Re-stream the show in full here.
Toby Richardson – Young Sweet Lovers Toby Richardson – Young Sweet LoversContinue reading →
In his inimitable bent rock stylings Perth (Western Australia) based Richardson has produced another irreverent indie rock ‘n’ roll gem. ‘Young Sweet Lovers’ kicks off proceedings with all of Toby Richardson’s delicious trademark ingredients: booming drums, fuzzy guitar lines and just-rolled-out-of-bed vocal delivery, married to wonderfully skewed melodicism and Richardson’s innate sense of songcraft. The title track features one of Richardson’s catchiest hooks to date, plus plenty of meandering, harmonised guitar soloing that splits the difference between Dinosaur Jr and an ether-soaked country hoe-down. The track’s disarming lack of pretense plays against Richardson’s affected take on rock as wailing guitars and driving chords quaver and bend in and out of shape. Single ‘King Of All The Moves’ is like a garage band falling endlessly down a cartoon staircase. The track pays homage to dirty rock while turning it inside out and painting it with jelly, creating a soundtrack to some unimaginable ‘70s cop show filled with sequins, half-naked dancers and possibly a dolphin.
“I’m surprised that more people haven’t been talking about Toby Richardson. Take some of the bluesy aspects of Captain Beefheart and mix it with some ’90s college rock sensibilities and you’ve got the Toby Richardson sound. Fuzzed-out lo-fi classic rock is the order of the day, and Toby pulls off this slight ’60s pastiche with panache… By the time you reach the last song, it’s hard not to feel slightly overwhelmed as it is such an exaggerated sound, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to simply take a break, and start over again, as its exaggeration is laced with an addictive quality that will have you coming back for more.” – It’s Not The Band I Hate It’s Their Fans on debut album Evergreen
The Stones And The Rabbits is available now through Hidden Shoal Recordings on digital and CD. Head to the Hidden Shoal Store for all availability info. Richardson’s debut EP Golden Days and album Evergreen are also available through Hidden Shoal. Read a full press release here and also grab the single ‘King Of All The Moves’ available for free download.
Toby Richardson – The Stones And The Rabbits Toby Richardson – The Stones And The RabbitsContinue reading →
Excerpt: “Perth-based act Toby Richardson has given us a rootsy, upbeat and light song intended to get you dancing. It is definitely a good effort with reliable funk rhythms, but a little cluttered and the literal intentions give it a cheesy, overbearing quality. The second bridge solos are forced and under played by the continuing rhythm sucking away the tepid cohesion of the song thus far. What’s more, the guitar is not impressive enough to stand up like it does. Ultimately, ’King of all the Moves’ is a childishly simple and repetitive song which does not truthfully go anywhere, but it will likely make you move a little bit, whether or not you want to, is the question.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “Australian lo-fi rocker Toby Richardson made a minor splash a couple years ago with his Evergreen full-length solo debut, and he’s back with a rock-solid new EP that features more of the psychedelia-tinged music that fans have come to expect from him. This five-song platter contains plenty of fuzzy guitars and raw blues-rock that would have been right at home in the late 1960s. Sprawling opener ‘Young Sweet Lovers’ is the centerpiece of the collection, and the best song of the bunch. ‘Wrong Highway Road,’ another tune that stretches out well beyond the five-minute mark, is a keeper, along with the title track … this is an impressive set”
The Daily NewsContinue reading →
Excerpt: “Toby Richardson ‘king of all the moves’ (hidden shoal) Been ages since we’ve featured anything by the Aussie imprint Hidden Shoal – seems we’ve taken our eye somewhat off the ball – so be warned there will be the (more than frequent) occasional mentions over the course of the next few missives starting with this their latest release the slated for December outing ‘the stones and the rabbits’ EP by Toby Richardson from which (this available as a free download cut) ’king of all the moves’ is culled. It marks a step aside from the usual mellowed electro ambiance to which hidden shoal set their trade, this little gem arrives somewhat disheveled and scuffed, the skewed melodic terrains point to a power pop prowess scratched and splintered by a disorientating off kilter soft psyche hue brought to bear courtesy of a clipped corkscrewing ’piper-esque’ motif which all gathered together in one brief sitting sounds not unlike a chemically toned meeting of Kevin Tihista and Chris Stamey types swapping notes with Robyn Hitchcock. Needless to say this won’t be the last time you’ll be hearing about Toby Richardson in these skewiff ramblings.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “There is a certain lightheartedness and charm that goes into “lo-fi” rock. So what happens when you take that charm and add a tinge of a dirty psychedelic sound that sounds like it’s coming out of the 70s? You get Toby Richardson, an Australian who is hellbent on delivering a fuzzed out sound coupled with a folky demeanor.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “Turn the clock back a few years and most people were convinced there was something in the water in WA because of the sheer number of excellent acts who called that piece of Australia home. Fast forward to 2010 and it seems our short attention spans have been diverted elsewhere in the search of the source of the ‘next big thing’. A Million Square Miles is a compilation…. Drawing together 16 tracks from eight artists, it successfully navigates the folk, indie pop and rock genres….A Million Square Miles is a pleasing and mellow offering that is easy-on-the-ear and reaffirms the fact that there is something in the water out west.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “This is the rare exhibition of musical aptitude that delights from start to finish, with nary a disappointment to be found. Being tagged by some as Australia’s answer to the British label 4AD, Hidden Shoal (HSR) does indeed specialize in a brand of music that places atmosphere, ambience, and texture high on the priority list. With an onslaught of reverb and delay effects that would put the Edge to shame, this album features eight acts that run the gamut from quirky playfulness (Toby Richardson) to hypnotic melodrama (My Majestic Star). Hidden Shoals’ impressive roster on A Million Square Miles is bound to shore up some buzz, and deservedly so: it’s an exhilarating listen from beginning to end.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “Richardson is sort of a Robert Pollard-styled musician, but here’s also glimpses of J Mascis’ guitar sound. Musically Evergreen is psychedelic, lo-fi, indie-rock, with a touch of late 1960s/early 1970s fuzzed and dirty psychedelic blues-rock. Jimi Hendrix comes to mind. Beefheart is mentioned in the press sheets. Along with Sebadoh, Pavement, and the aforementioned Pollard and Mascis, this makes sort of a schizophrenic mixture. But, it’s for sure an exciting blend.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “I’m surprised that more people haven’t been talking about Toby Richardson. Take some of the bluesy aspects of Captain Beefheart and mix it with some ’90s college rock sensibilities and you’ve got the Toby Richardson sound. Fuzzed-out lo-fi classic rock is the order of the day, and Toby pulls off this slight ’60s pastiche with panache… By the time you reach the last song, it’s hard not to feel slightly overwhelmed as it is such an exaggerated sound, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to simply take a break, and start over again, as its exaggeration is laced with an addictive quality that will have you coming back for more.”Continue reading →
“Toby Richardson used to raise hell in Perth with Mustang! back in the early to mid-nineties. It was raised eyebrow drone-grunge-punk kind of music, but this single finds Richardson in a psychedelic mood. There’s a ’60s ambience but it also recalls something of late ’90s outfit, The Makeup. Either way it’s infectious and augurs well for his full-length album due in 2008.”
XpressContinue reading →
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Toby Richardson’s music is available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.