Even though they began making music as flatmates in Glasgow, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Order of the Toad have their origins in sunnier climes. Taking their cue from the intersection of beat, electrified folk and psychedelia, the trio – made up of bassist Gemma Fleet (also part of The Wharves), lead guitarist Robert Sotelo and drummer Christopher Taylor – seem to have that focus firmly set on ’60s California, with latest track ‘Do It With Feeling’. Taken from forthcoming album, Re-Order of the Toad, this latest single follows July’s ‘Lady’s Mantle’ and their Rabbets EP, released in 2019, and finds the group in joyous form, that’s just slightly off-kilter.
Opening with a bassline that throws back to The Animals, the opening verse proceeds with a Byrdsy mix of finger picks and strummed guitar, that sound almost sitar-like. Melodic and gently trippy, the backing is given a warm topping courtesy of Gemma’s vocals, which, by the time the track’s chorus hits, have turned up the power to Grace Slick levels. In fact, that’s reflective of the structure of the whole, with a chorus that kicks the song up to fifth, via a delightfully old-school switch-up in its rhythm section and the whole band on backing vocals.
The track’s middle eight though, wanders into far more psych territory, verging on something more drone-y, before that familiar melody returns and the chorus reprises. Just as you think the band will take their own order to “stop right now”, so the bass breakdown returns, ending things with just the slightest hint that they’ve gone off the rails.
The video for ‘Do It With Feeling’ sees the band making a series of poses in an aluminium foil draped, DIY photo studio, incorporating various colour filters, props, hats, their instruments and, of course, a life-size model of a toad. It reflects their own home-brewed take on another era’s experimentation and its surrealism, but also the song’s discussion of seeking that perfect take, as the group keep trying for the shot that’s just so, whilst its repetitive nature also matches the track’s earworm tendencies – one listen, and you’ll be humming it for days. And much as it may seem tricky to find new ways to explore the styles of the Nuggets era, it sounds like Order of the Toad have found it pretty easy: even if it is warts and all.
Watch the video now: