Todd Tobias

Todd Tobias“it’s tribute to Todd Tobias’s skill as a producer and arranger that the pace never slackens and that he’s quite effectively produced the audio equivalent of a graphic novel, one that will keep you listening right up until its cataclysmic final moments.” DOA

After years of producing Guided By Voices and playing in Circus Devils with Robert Pollard, Todd Tobias branched out on his own, producing a string of themed instrumental albums for Hidden Shoal, each one unique in its evocation of an imagined world. His music is defiantly unique and vividly realised across his evolving discography.

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Todd Tobias & Chloe March – Amialluma

September 2018

After a number of stunning track collaborations on Todd Tobias’s 2015 album Gila Man, Chloe March and Todd Tobias have joined forces on their new full-length, Amialluma. Following on from Tobias’s recent album Massabu Evening Entertainments and March’s own Blood-Red Spark, this new album brings both artists’ distinct musical sensibilities together to create a bewitching brew. Dwelling in a mysterious hinterland somewhere between Cocteau Twins’ seminal Victorialand and The Caretaker’s Persistent Repetition of Phrases, Amialluma dances between the earthly and heavenly. Chloe March’s celestial voice shines a light through Todd Tobias’s dark, fantastical soundscapes, resulting in a sublime, uncanny experience that enraptures and unsettles in equal measure.


Massabu Evening Entertainments

March 2018 This time Tobias breaks out a rollicking set of Middle-Eastern flavored psychedelia. Massabu’s 13 breathless tracks evoke a night club grotto in some exotic port town filled with wild dancers and intoxicating fumes. Tobias is joined on three tracks by Italian vocalist Pat Moonchy, who lends a playful, otherworldly touch.

Gila Man

18 October 2015 Each Todd Tobias solo album presents its own discrete, surreal world – and Gila Man is no exception. A wordless musical novella that merges a psychedelic Western with shadowy science fiction, Gila Man simultaneously evokes the wide-eyed wonder of discovery and the creeping dread of what horrors may lurk around the next corner. Featuring the stunning wordless vocals of English songwriter and fellow Hidden Shoal artist Chloë March, the album is at once beautiful and unsettling – and a wonderful distillation of the magical qualities of Tobias’s previous musical outings. Gila Man’s individual songs vividly evoke characters and scenes within the album’s imaginary narrative, casting dusty projections onto the mind’s eye. Breezily meditative single ‘Pollen Path’ shimmers with acoustic fingerpicking and Chloë March’s celestial voice. ‘Howler’s Hill’ breaks out of its haunted intro into an agitated, fuzzy churn, while ‘Queen Mab’ circles around synth and chime motifs to create a delicate, melancholic dirge. ‘Tularosa’, again featuring Chloë March, is woozy, French-sounding atmos-pop. ‘Highlake’s Last Stand’ pits dreamy guitar wanderings against ritualistic sludge rock. Wherever this music ventures, the listener is compelled to follow.

Tristes Tropiques

June 2015 While best known for producing Guided By Voices and collaborating with Robert Pollard (Circus Devils, Ricked Wicky and Pollard’s solo material), Tobias has also crafted an innovative body of instrumental solo work, of which Tristes Tropique is the latest chapter. Hypnotic and melancholy-soaked, Tristes Tropique presents a luxuriant yet downcast tone, drawing comparisons to the eerie, transportive work of The Fun Years, The Gentleman Losers and Ian William Craig. This is no better exemplified than on single ‘Suvarnabhumi’, in which sparse, yearning guitar figures are subsumed by ethereal synths. Sinister yet alluring, these musical environments throb with sensuality, danger and promise. Tristes Tropique takes its title from the book by French anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss, which literally translates as “sad tropics”. Tobias sought to evoke far-flung places where indigenous cultures have either vanished or are in the process of being swallowed up by an ever-expanding global civilization.


June 2015 Moorea is the stunning companion EP to Todd Tobias’s brilliant 2015 album Tristes Tropiques.

Impossible Cities

October 2014 Impossible Cities is the latest visionary chapter in Todd Tobias’s ongoing exploration of rock’s darkest and most hypnotic realms. Inspired by the Ital Calvino book Invisible Cities, each track is named after an imaginary city, from the glistening exoticism of ‘Lamura’ via the seething murk of ‘Gorgum Reeth’ and ‘Smazbaal’ to the eerie, shimmering grandeur of ‘Akrova’, Tobias’s latest musical universe is vividly rendered, scary, beautiful and utterly immersive. The album comes with the companion mini-album Impossible Cities 2, which comprises 10 haunting vignettes.

Impossible Cities 2

October 2014 Impossible Cities 2, comprising 10 haunting vignettes, is the free companion mini-album to Todd Tobias’s Impossible Cities.

I Razor (featuring Circus Devils)

May 2013 I Razor, by Todd Tobias and Circus Devils, is the soundtrack to the no-budget experimental feature film of the same name directed by Todd Tobias. The I Razor soundtrack comprises challenging, playful, twisted, murky and downright beautiful pieces of music by Todd Tobias and Circus Devils, featuring vocals from Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) as well as instrumental versions of some of the Devil’s existing songs. The album is a cinematic feast within itself, uncompromising, redemptive and always engaging. It weaves lo-fi keyboards through shimmering guitar textures, scatters unsettling rhythms across ethereal synthscapes, and unveils kaleidoscopic new treasures among its 30+ tracks with each listen. Told from the perspective of a former scientist turned wandering telepathic man-child, I Razor is the story of one man’s quest to regain his lost humanity.  I Razor presents its world in hallucinatory visions, reflecting the state of mind of its main character.  The story is told with minimal dialog and an open plot structure, relying instead on visuals and music to carry it’s narratives.

Night Above Ground

November 2012 In contrast to Medicine Show‘s serpentine construction and intense atmosphere, Night Above Ground is more airy, accessible and playful, bursting into vivid life with the crowd chatter and tumbling noisescapes of ‘Invocation’. Immersive, hypnotic tracks such as ‘Crystal Palace People’ alternate with brief, impressionistic pieces such as ‘Workshop of Spears’ and ‘Ashes and Cream’. The EP’s 17 minutes flow past your third eye like a Dali-esque dream.

Medicine Show

April 2012 After years of producing Guided By Voices, playing in Circus Devils with Robert Pollard, and helping to create the music for Pollard’s solo albums, Todd Tobias is striking out on his own with his debut solo album. Defiantly unique and vividly realised, Medicine Show is a multi-faceted instrumental opus, evoking a shadowy steampunk dystopia. By turns nightmarish and hauntingly beautiful, the three-dimensional musical universe that Tobias conjures across 40 minutes is totally addictive. From the dark GBV-esque groove of ‘Night of the Club Foot’, through the gaseous synths of ‘Pre-Dawn Visitation’, evoking a hallucinogen-fuelled walk among a misty moon-lit forest, to the visceral lurch of single ‘Manatoc Enters The City / The Long Fall’, Medicine Show plays out like the soundtrack to a Terry Gilliam movie starring Tom Waits, each song a totally immersive scene, leading inexorably into the next.


Todd Tobias grew up in Northeast Ohio, USA, where he played in a string of bands, culminating in Circus Devils, alongside fellow Ohioan, Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices. In 2002, Todd began producing albums with Pollard, beginning with Guided by Voices’ Matador release Universal Truths and Cycles. Todd has also produced many other indie-rock projects over the years, including fellow Hidden Shoal artist Kramies.  While playing in bands as a drummer or bassist, he continued work on his own with a cassette 4-track, creating soundscapes and his own brand of exotic rock, as showcased in his prolific work with Circus Devils.  In 2012, Todd finally birthed his first solo work for Hidden Shoal, titled Medicine Show, followed by Impossible Cities (2014) and Tristes Tropiques (2015), each of which has been accompanied by a companion EP.



More News


  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at

    [Translated via Google]

    “Atmosfere is the second album that multi-instrumentalist Todd Tobias releases together with Pat Moonchy via the Utrecht record label Tiny Room Records. In just half an hour the duo gives a rather unusual, dreamy look into a surreal world that somehow feels pleasant to the listener.

    Todd Tobias is no stranger anymore. The fifty-year-old from Ohio, USA has gained international fame not only for his own work but also for his role within the band Guided By Voices and his work with Robert Pollard. Pat Moonchy, a born Italian, is less well-known in our country, but still has a good record of merit. She is half of the experimental band Sothiac, plays in duos alongside trombonist Angelo Contini and jazzdrumer Lino Liguori, is a member of the Tai-No Orchestra and not to mention German krautrock pioneers Faust.

    After the self-titled debut of Moonchy & Tobias (which was released via Tiny Room and Hidden Shoal in 2018), the duo puts down a more balanced and unambiguous whole on Atmosfere. Instead of using fictional language, Moonchy sings in her native language. In fact, she takes on a leading role, because although the modest playing style of Todd Tobias creates tension and atmosphere, there is an all-determining vocal style on the album. The childish, almost Asian-looking voice of Pat takes some getting used to, but gives the twelve short tracks a unique sound and experience.

    Atmospheric is full of influences of the present and the past. Occasione sounds rather retro, with a nod to the seventies when it comes to the musical interpretation. Velo is again pure contemporary folk, while a song like Dall’Occhio has dreamy pop influences with a “trippy” undertone and the vocals are sometimes even filled in with voices. Modesty, small compositions and even a kind of intimacy are terms that recur on my notebook. And that is perhaps also the best description for this work. Unfortunately not all tracks are equally convincing and sometimes the duo seems to be looking for coherence individually. I suspect that the recordings were not made in the same studio. In addition, the header voice that Moonchy occasionally uses is not entirely pure or pleasant to listen to.

    Still, Moonchy & Tobias manage to deliver a fairly unique album with Atmosfere. Partly thanks to the conscious choice to draw the listener’s attention to the somewhat alienating, intimate Italian vocals with relatively little trimmings and rather elongated, repetitive melody lines. As if on vacation you get a reading from the diary of your host’s daughter’s daughter, where you can read everything from the childish emotion transmission without understanding the words. You feel a bit uncomfortable and at the same time kind of honored that it is shared with you.

    All this makes Atmosfere a strange duck, which is further enhanced by the way in which some tracks end. Open, namely. The sound is appropriate, although the dynamics vary per track. A conscious choice, presumably. The second album from Moonchy & Tobias is really one for a select group and also offers room for development in the future. Yet this can be a nice discovery for those drizzly days that we can call winter in our country.”

    Hifi NL

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  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at Keys and Chords

    [Translated via Google]

    The neopsyched indie rock duo Moonchy & Tobias was founded in 2018. The Italian Pat Moonchy sings, while the American Todd Tobias provides the music on all kinds of instruments. This is their second album, after their debut in 2018. Moonchy is half of the experimental band Sothiac, plays in duos alongside trombonist Angelo Contini and jazz drummer Lino Liguori, but also in the Tai-No Orchestra, and with the German krautrock pioneers Faust . Tobias has been working with Robert Pollard (Guides by Voices) for a long time and delivered the music for Pollard’s voice in the freak rock trio Circus Devils. He also released a number of instrumental albums, and a duet album with Chloe March. On this new disc they bring 12 short tracks, some instrumental, others sung again. Moonchy sings in Italian, sometimes sounds rarefied, and it all feels like dreamy pop. Atmospheric and somewhat mysterious is the best description for it.

    Keys and Chords

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  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at De Subjectivisten

    [Translated from the original Dutch via Google]

    “One year ago the album Moonchy & Tobias brings together two special musicians, namely the Italian vocalist Pat Moonchy and the American multi-instrumentalist Todd Tobias. Moonchy has already released music under her own name, but can also be found in Sothiac, Doubleganger, One Lip 5, Pat Moonchy Trio and Tai No-Orchestra. Tobias in turn already has a broad and rich musical past with bands like 4 Coyotes, Brother Earth, Clouds Forming Crowns, Circus Devils (with Robert Pollard from Guided By Voices), Ricked Wicky and Psycho And The Birds. In addition, he does not leave himself unassumed in the solo field, since from 2012 albums will appear under his own name with some regularity and last year also one with Chloë March. Now Moonchy and Tobias are back with Atmosfere, of course released in the idiosyncratic, fun micro-label Tiny Room, where they sail a different course. No longer that whimsical mix of neoclassical, ambient, wave, avant-garde, gothic, art, post and psychedelic rock, but a subtle singer-songwriter sound. Guitar strumming thickened with moody electronics often form the basis on which Moonchy can show off her singing skills, which somehow sound like Chinese. Nevertheless, she also makes a more subdued sound. Where the music at first glance sounds a bit more ‘ordinary’, they make a profit here with the melancholy and mysterious atmosphere. That again results in a special (and) beautiful album, for which I also can’t easily come up with comparison material.”

    - De Subjectivisten

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  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at Indebanvan

    [Translated from the Dutch via Google. Read the original here.]

    “Moonchy & Tobias is the musical collaboration between multi-instrumentalist and singer Pat Todd Tobias Moonchy. On the debut was sung in a made-up language. On this second album “Atmosfere” This again appears to be the case. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Moonchy & Tobias chooses Italian
    Italian Pat Moonchy sings this time in her native language. Not that it matters. In fact nothing to like what you do in the holiday gets it.

    Pat Moonchy takes you back into the past. When there were no devices with plugs and those endless conversations conducted with each other. After all, they had nothing. For the album “Atmosfere” is that you just have nothing else to do than to listen to tell Moonchy & Tobias. Soft guitar and delicate vocals bring peace.

    Brazilian influences
    It starts with the repetitive, instrumental ‘Arcabaleno. Title track “Atmosfere” subsequently many Brazilian influences from the school of Antônio Carlos Jobim. On “Lo Sguardo ‘is again the repetitive work of Todd Tobias that intoxicates.

    “Occasione ‘is slightly firmer and more worldly. You feel you are in the Middle East. These are influences that Todd Tobias does stop more often in his music. ‘Velo’ in Italian has a very different meaning. This duo casts a veil. ‘Amico’ sounds a lot friendlier ears.

    Led Zeppelin
    “Dall’Occhio ‘is Italian blues that I’m crazy enough to think all the time Led Zeppelin. That does not fall on deaf ears. Because in “Senso Del Tempo Moonchy and Tobias do their reputation as art rock duo honor. The song that most lingers is’ Pioggia e Sale “. A chilling melody, sung with emotion. On “Grumo” is even some hit potential of admiring. And so there is still plenty to explore on this wonderful album.”


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  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at Music Won’t Save You

    [Translated from the Italian via Google. Read the original here.]

    “On the sidelines of the well-established one with Chloë March, Todd Tobias recently embarked on another collaboration with a female voice. In the case of Pat Moonchy, the historic name of the Milanese avant-garde who in turn presents an extremely varied and stimulating curriculum, the meeting had already resulted in a shared homonymous work published last year, which is now immediately followed in “Atmosfere “.

    While the first chapter of Moonchy & Tobias presented a more markedly experimental imprint, conveyed by the murky sound environments of the American artist and the deconstructed vocalizations of Moonchy, his immediate following denotes as a first novelty the presence of real texts, scanned in Italian in the form of declamations or harmonic movements, not always easily intelligible, that form a whole with instrumental substrates ranging from a surprising acoustic psychedelia to impervious twists under the sign of static electricity or liquid tension with wave contours post-punk.

    The fresco drawn by the twelve short passages of “Atmosfere” outlines a dystopian universe populated by ghostly echoes, but also at times softened by evident psych-folk nuances that, in particular in “Dall’occhio” and in the title track, show off a surprisingly flat writing, to balance the most intricate experimental ideas enclosed in a fruition work that is not always easy, but full of stimulating hybridizations of styles and sensibilities.”

    Music Won’t Save You

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  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at Here Comes The Flood

    “Ohio based experimentalist Todd Tobias and Italian avant-garde singer Pat Moonchy have teamed up for a collaborative Moonchy & Tobias album. Their self-titled debut was a nice surprise, a meeting of musical minds that left the listener wanting more.

    Atmosfere picks up the quiet intensity of the debut, meandering soundscapes with Moonchy as a guide to a pastoral, almost childlike world. All lyrics are in Italian, but there is no need to be fluent in that language in order to get the gist of the words. Tobias plays a kot of acoustic guitar on the tracks and the tinkling sound of that instrument is like a second guide. Pick one to follow or change mid-song to find something new and interesting. All tracks are invitations to dream and wonder.

    Moonchy & Tobias are already working on the next record. According to Tobias that one “will be more rocking and more weird”.”

    Here Comes The Flood

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  • Moonchy & Tobias “Atmosfere” Reviewed at Louder Than War

    “It’s one of life’s luxuries to inform others about a record that alters your outlook on life; even if the altered state is fleeting. This latest release by Tiny Room (it actually is a tiny room, somewhere in the Dutch province of Utrecht) is one such. Reader, it’s glorious.

    Tiny Room have built up an impressive catalogue without looking to blow their own trumpet. The label likes to exert an influence in a quiet manner, and much of the music released on the label has the knack of creeping up on the listener unawares. This release by Todd Tobias and Pat Moonchy – much more reflective than their first – is a case in point.

    Tobias will be known to many for his work with Guided By Voices and Bob Pollard. Singer Pat Moonchy is probably less well known but it is her voice that guides the spirit of this record. And regardless of who knows who, Atmosfere is possibly one of the most seductive releases this year, perfect for a day spent staring out of the window. It’s also a record that marks a step away from the duo’s more uptempo debut.

    The instrumental opener, ‘Aecolbaleno’ paves the way for a set of songs that tread the line between the Gothic and hippy pastoral. Introspective, elusive and supremely trippy, this all-too-short release has an undeniable vibe of late 60s, early 70s European folk about it. ‘Lo Sguardo’ could, by virtue of the deliberately reedy vocal line, be one of those trippy preludes from a Gong record whilst ‘In Tasca’ starts off like a Withüsser and Westrüpp record before once again channelling Gilli Smyth for a bout of musical landscaping. Regardless of stylistic concerns it’s a very warm-feeling record, likely to put you in an empathetic haze.

    The songs are superb, relying on melody line and simple accompaniments for the most part. Only now and again – such as with ‘Amico’ – does the instrumentation broaden out. Otherwise we get glorious bedroom folk driven by a patiently picked guitar line, such as the title track and ‘Dall’occhio’. The LP’s highlight, a glorious one-two of ‘Senso Del Tempo’ and ‘Pioggia E Sale’, are a pairing of glorious Gothic nursery rhymes; both need very little time to leave their respective imprints on the listener’s senses. In fact if we were to find a grain of sand in the vaseline, it’s the way the last track ‘Altri Sé’ slides off, almost without a goodbye. But maybe that’s the clever trick to get you to play it all over again.”


    Louder Than War

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  • Mooncy & Tobias Reviewed at KFJC 89.7FM

    “Prepare to enter a fantasy world when you play this CD. Pat Moonchy does all the vocals and she is way out there–sometimes delicately childlike, sometimes firmly operatic, sometimes groaning in a creepy pitched-down voice, sometimes… well, you’ll have to play it and find out. Her musical partner Todd Tobias (connections to Guided By Voices) provides the instrumentation and it is spot on. Pretty acoustic passages here, some rocking stuff there, some weird industrial textures over there… and many surprises over the course of these 13 tracks. Drama + weirdness is the order of the day. Many of the tracks are short, I mean like a minute or two, but they are all evocative and kind of mind-blowing. Perfect for injecting little bits of drama and weirdness into your radio show.”

    KFJC 89.7FM

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  • Moonchy & Tobias ‘ La Bete Et La Belle’ Reviewed at Dark Life Experience

    [Translated via Google. Original text here.]

    “Pat Moonchy and Todd Tobias bring with the song “La Bete Et La Belle” a piece of music that stands out with its experimental nature of the mainstream. The mix of psychedelic and dark industrial mood captures the listener but at the latest with the supremely versatile voice Moonchys, skillfully exploiting every facet, height and depth. Yeah, you only hear Moonchy sing in the song. In addition to the featured song, you should definitely listen to the same name album of the band, because as for the versatility of the duo, you get here the full overview. A journey through the most diverse, beautiful musical landscapes worthwhile.”

    Dark Life Experience

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  • Todd Tobias & Chloe March “Amialluma” Reviewed by Craig Laurance Gidney

    “A collaboration between musicians Todd Tobias and Chloë March, Amialluma is an album’s worth of atmospheric ambient music that desultorily drifts between a whimsical and eerie tone. All ten compositions have a distinct hauntological ambiance. The soundscapes have the feel of the soundtrack to a forgotten children’s movie. Music box melodies, echoed bell-like tones and 60s Sci-Fi sounds are woven together, mostly in a halcyon mood that gets disturbed by the occasional dark chord progression. March sings, purrs, trills, murmurs and chants words in an invented language that manages to be both soothing and disturbing, like a feral child raised by nature. The resulting suite (which is how it is supposed to be listened to) reminds of me of the work of the English band Pram, (who share a similar tonal palette crossed) with the Cocteau Twins at their most tranquil.”

    - Craig Laurance Gidney

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Todd Tobias’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.

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