Having recently announced a mid-May release for his self-titled second solo album, Summit Of The Big Low (aka the Canada-born but UK-raised indie-folk musician Toby Uffindell-Phillips) has today issued a second single from it for a song entitled ‘Tearing Up The Darkness’.

Opening with an uptempo beat and a shimmering mandolin hook before the introduction of swelling brass, the bouncing rhythm is full of summery optimism, while the laidback vocal delivery carries a message that shines a light on isolation, and how a cry for help in the darkest of places can – when that call is answered – light up the sky.    

The cover to the album (see below) depicts a Yin-Yang sign comprised of discarded cigarette butts. “My friend Lucy Pook was doing a series of these cigarette illustrations during lockdown and as soon as I saw this particular piece I knew I wanted the image to represent the music I was writing,” explains Toby. “From a distance, the artwork projects this beautiful ideological symbol of perfect harmony and balance, but up close you realise it can be broken down into these discarded objects that elude to an uglier, more sinister truth about humanity. Much like the songs on an album, it’s as if there is a story associated with each cigarette butt, where, for a snapshot in time, they were props in people’s lives.”

Each single from the new album also features one of Pook’s illustrations.   

Dipping in and out of evocative residual memories (and maybe a few fictitious ones), Toby’s relaxed writing style utilises samples, atmospheric soundbeds and field recordings, setting scenes within which his lyrics explore themes that trouble or fascinate him. First single ‘Dust’ had a clear anti-war message, while album opener ‘Battle Lines’ also urges the need to build bridges. Other songs, including ‘Between You And I’ and the new single, are more introspective, while ‘Blizzard Child’ is a questing desire to find a way back – geographically or metaphorically – to a place with a sense of belonging.


new single
out 24.03.23
(Friendly Tribe)

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