Live Session: Toy Cars – “Stone”

Posted: by The Editor

AGL Sounds (2)

A few days before hitting the road to play a slew of shows at SXSW this year, guitarist Matt DeBenedetti of Toy Cars, performed a solo “Sounds from the House” set at AGL. Sitting in a basement surrounded by humble listeners, DeBenedetti shared a few songs with the help of an acoustic guitar and a Reverend Charger 290 played through a Silvertone amp.

Toy Cars

I’m the type of person that’s always trying to make things better, change things, and do things differently,” DeBenedetti explained when asked about the New Jersey band’s progression from their 2016 five-track release, Sleeping Patterns, to this year’s full-length, Paint Brain. “We went into Paint Brain‘s recording process with way more conceptual ideas of what we wanted the record to sound like than we did with Sleeping Patterns,” he continued, “We think Paint Brain is a better example of what we want our records to sound like, sonically speaking.” Both records drip with heavy, driving guitar riffs that are paired with simple, yet unapologetically expressive songwriting. Lyrics penned by DeBenedetti are the kind that seem to have swelled from shouting thoughts in his head, burst onto a page, and into song.

“Stone,” a high-energy track from Sleeping Patterns, speaks to those moments of screaming internal cerebration and self-realization that can keep the aching mind far from solace. DeBenedetti strips the song down for his intimate performance and “Stone” is played as it was intended to be heard. “It’s one of my favorites to play stripped down because it’s a cool glimpse into the song as it would have been if it never changed,” DeBenedetti said of the song. “When I brought it to the band it never really stuck, so we actually almost didn’t even record it. Eventually I had an idea to speed it up to the faster version that’s on the record now.”

For a song that almost didn’t make it out into the world, the vigorous swath of emotion fueling the vocals is not lost in either version of the song, and here, with just a guy and his guitar, we can see into the mind of the songwriter, unabashed and unafraid. “A million wasted f*cking miles/ Mind’s headed west/ Heart’s headed east,” DeBenedetti laments, “Tonight we’re hoping for a red sky, but that’s a dream I’ll never see.”

Follow Toy Cars:
Facebook // Bandcamp
Follow AGL:
 Twitter // Facebook

Video Credits:
Audio Engineer – Doug Gallo
Mixing and Mastering – Ryan Hillsinger
Video Editing – Savan Sekhon, Anthony “Big Body” Comi and Ryan Hillsinger
Videographers – Savan Sekhon, Anthony “Big Body” Comi, James Perry and Ryan Hillsinger

Interview by Deanna DiLandro
Post edited by Christopher / @ChrisMustard

The Alternative is ad-free and 100% supported by our readers. If you’d like to help us produce more content and promote more great new music, please consider donating to our Patreon page, which also allows you to receive sweet perks like free albums and The Alternative merch.