Tones and I – Welcome to the Madhouse
Tones and I’s debut album Welcome to the Madhouse creates a vibe of indie circus. It’s very similar to a crossover of Melanie Martinez and Halsey, with a taste for colour and brightness amidst dark topics, personal demons and struggles. There are sentimental parts such as dealing with loneliness and that feeling of missing someone, alongside toxic realisations and unhealthy coping mechanisms. All of this is wrapped in Sia-like vocals that transform with the transition from one track production to the next.
The opening song begins with a haunting blend of keyboard and bass, dancing to a steadily suffocating rhythm. It has a The Great Gatsby 2013 soundtrack allure to it and welcomes listeners to an album full of diverse and interconnected themes. The bridge elicits a craving for more that can only be satiated by the next track, Lonely. Eerily upbeat, like wrapping up a desperately bleeding wound with a single Hello Kitty band-aid. Tugging at heartstrings, this song prompts reflections of personal journeys with depression and trying to be okay with strong evocative lyrics such as, “like 20 likes, a post’s supposed to be the one salvation”.
The anaphora of “I’m so sick” in Westside Lobby slips and slides with the melody to create a sense of fun among reckless confessions and honesty. It’s a deceptively light and soft track as Tones and I recalls different comments, compliments and criticisms thrown her way, undermining them by asserting her apathy. And after listening to the previous four tracks, Fly Away marks a change in tone and is a fantastic source of uplifting energy that subsets the bitterness, loneliness and sarcasm ingrained from the beginning of the album.
Dark Waters is driven by its production. There’s a slight echo attached to the artist’s voice that adds an underwater quality to her delivery and diction. The instruments are arranged to help further enhance this specific atmosphere, adding a nostalgic quality to it. Her vocals start soft and lost, before turning sharp and sure, ironically pulling the listener out of the dark waters of their deepest thoughts. The final highlight of Welcome to the Madhouse is Fall Apart, the melody is slow and reminiscent of Tonight by FM Static. The harmonies and different styles and keys applied to the singer’s vocals add dimension to the chorus, projecting both desperation and yearning in silence. This would have been the perfect closer.
Welcome to the Madhouse is released on 16th July 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Tones and I’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Fly Away here: