Bristol, UK folk-punk/emo trio Toodles & The Hectic Pity are delighted to announce that their debut album Hold Onto Happiness With Both Hands will be released on 23rd June 2023 via Bristol independent champions Specialist Subject Records.

To celebrate the announcement, the band have revealed lead single ‘Emotionally Unclean’ which is set for release on 11th April 2023.

Commenting on the single, the band say: “This was probably always envisioned as ‘the hit’ and our attempt to write something quite poppy. It attempts to voice some less-than admirable instincts when you need to create space for your self-development and your own mental health, while also fighting the need for external affirmation from other people. It’s sort of a ‘careful what you wish for’ song. Really, no one’s going to come along and cure you.”

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Affectionately known to their fans simply as Toodles, band members Callum, Max and Dom all met at secondary school in Gloucestershire and formed Toodles & the Hectic Pity in the political quagmire of the mid 2010s for one covers set at the original iteration of what would later become Inglefest, a small festival in the Cotswolds. The band subsequently released 3 EPs including The First EP (2016), Call In Sick (2017), and Ghosts, Guilt & Grandparents (2020), which was their first release through Specialist Subject.

Forthcoming debut album Hold Onto Happiness With Both Hands was recorded and produced by Phil Booth jr. at JT Soar, Nottingham in October 2022, with cello, percussion and backing vocals recorded at Woodbox, Bristol by Dom Mosley. The album was mixed by Robin Newman at Snug Recording Co., Nottingham and mastered by Ian Farmer and his cat, Onion, at The Metal Shop in Philadelphia, PA.

Described by the band as “at least half-way a break-up album”, where previous EP Ghosts… was an exercise in introspection and mostly set within one room, the album is set in “the outside world”. While it might start out life as a break-up album, Hold Onto Happiness… quickly becomes a record about personal transfiguration. “It seems to me kind of pointless to write a merely depressing song or a merely depressing album,” says vocalist Callum McAllister, “so most of these songs and the album as a whole attempt to take a journey that ends in positive resolution and catharsis.”

The title of the album is a quote from WE, a 1920s dystopian novel by the Russian writer Ygeveny Zamyatin which in a translation by Bernard Guilbert Gurney reads “THE ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS ARE NOT NAPPING. HOLD ONTO HAPPINESS WITH BOTH HANDS.”

“The context is not incredibly important,” explains McAllister, “but the quote comes from a newspaper. Every line of the novel is ripe for inspiration-poaching but these lines struck me because of something called the pleasure paradox; that directly seeking happiness isn’t the best way to achieve it. The title in the context of the record isn’t supposed to be an instruction, or any kind of political point, but to me it just evokes something about what it feels like to be alive.”

The band have played extensively in Bristol and around the country including the infamous Deadpunk Special, Till the Fest, Do it Together Fest, and shared stages with the likes of AJJ, Jeffrey Lewis, Microwave, Spanish Love Songs, Mikey Erg, Crywank, Fresh, Muncie Girls, Martha, and many more. 

Toodles will be playing shows with Live, Do Nothing in May 2023 including Marapalooza in Newcastle, and appearing at 2000 Trees in Cheltenham ahead of their own UK album tour dates in July 2023.

Further details and new music will be revealed over the coming months.

Debut album Hold Onto Happiness With Both Hands released 23rd June via Specialist Subject Records

Live Dates:

14TH APR Loco Klub, BRISTOL (with Snuff & Cosmit)
15TH APR New Cross Inn, LONDON (with Pkew Pkew Pkew)
19TH MAY Santiago’s, LEEDS *
20TH MAY Marrapalooza, NEWCASTLE *
09TH JUL Just Dropped In, COVENTRY
13TH JUL The Butler, READING
14TH JUL Dulwich Football Club, LONDON
15TH JUL The Pipeline, BRIGHTON

* w/ Live, Do Nothing

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