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, first with the recent release of debut album Medicine Show, and now with the independent release of the freely available companion EP Night Above Ground.
In contrast to the full-length album’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’
Defiantly unique and vividly realised, full-length album 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-
“very familiar and exciting to all the Circus Devils fans out there, perplexing to non-believers and absolutely intriguing for everyone else that gives this record a chance” - The Fire Note on Medicine Show
“the audio equivalent of a graphic novel, one that will keep you listening right up until its cataclysmic final moments” - Delusions of Adequacy on Medicine Show
Todd Tobias and older brother Tim Tobias grew up in Northeast Ohio, USA, where the two played together in a string of bands, culminating in Clouds Forming Crowns and Circus Devils (the latter with fellow Ohioan Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices). Todd has been Robert Pollard’s in-house record producer and collaborator since 2002, beginning with Guided by Voices’ Matador release Universal Truths and Cycles. Todd has also produced many other indie-rock projects over the years, including the latest release from fellow Hidden Shoal Recordings artist Kramies (The European EP).
The Night Above Ground EP is available in digital format as a free download from the Hidden Shoal Store(http://agora.hiddenshoal.com). Medicine Show is also out now through Hidden Shoal in limited edition CD and digital formats.
Hidden Shoal Recordings (http://music.hiddenshoal.com) is an Australia-based independent music label that has earned a reputation for releasing exciting and engaging new independent music that is not bound by genre or style. Hidden Shoal Recordings has been chosen as one of Textura magazine’s favourite labels, has been dubbed “This generation’s 4AD” by prominent New York radio host DJ Mojo, and has been described by The Mountain Goats’ frontman John Darnielle as “one of the great wonders of our age”.