When you're moving, it's easy to be distracted from all kinds of pain. But when you find yourself suddenly disabled and immobile, deeper reflection is unavoidable. Tōth, the performance moniker of Brooklyn singer-songwriter Alex Toth, understands this intimately.
The musician's own period of recovery from heartbreak and a broken foot afforded him time to create his debut album, the emotionally affecting Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary, released this spring.
"Juliette," the first single since Toth's breakout LP, premieres today on PAPER and filled with robust indie rock melodies and a wistful horn section. The track finds Toth longing for a lover he can't move on from, though she seems just within reach: "You don't know what you're doin' to me," he sings.
For the surreal clip, directed by Brooklyn-based artists Jen Goma and Christian Peslak, Toth pulls from life experience. He casts himself as something of a mopey couch potato pining over a dolled-up dream girl on TV, played with vaudevillian panache by Maya Hawke, who's best known for her role as Robin Buckley on Stranger Things.
As it happens, the pairing of Toth and Hawke is a star-crossed one, as Toth originally wrote "Juliette" for the film Juliet, Naked starring Ethan Hawke, Maya's father. The song ultimately wasn't used for the film, but Toth and Maya connected to create this project.
For Toth, "Juliette" continues a theme established on his debut of honoring and respecting an ex-lover, rather than having a bitter perspective. He recalls a yogi friend's advice: "We need to stop looking at every ended or changed relationship as a failure," Toth says.
Catch Tōth on tour through January 2020 in the US and Europe, below.
Nov 14 @ Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC *
Nov 15 @ The Southern Cafe & Music Hall – Charlottesville, VA *
Nov 16 @ Spirit Hall – Pittsburgh, PA *
Nov 18 @ Rec Room – Buffalo, NY *
Nov 19 @ The Haunt – Ithaca, NY *
Nov 20 @ BSP Kingston – Kingston, NY *
Nov 21 @ 3S Artspace – Portsmouth, NH *
Nov 22 @ Arts Riot – Burlington, VT *
Nov 24 @ The Grace – London, UK
Nov 26 @ Trix – Antwerp, BE
Nov 27 @ Tennis Bar – Berlin, DE
Nov 28 @ Cord Club – München, DE
Nov 30 @ Blue Bird Festival – Vienna, AU
Dec 01 @ Crew Hassan – Lisbon, PT
Jan 7 @ SPACE Ballroom – Portland, ME ^
Jan 8 @ ONCE Ballroom – Boston, MA ^
Jan 9 @ Rough Trade – New York, NY ^
Jan 10 @ DC9 – Washington, DC ^
Jan 11 @ WCL - Upstairs – Philadelphia, PA ^
Jan 16 @ Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH ^
Jan 17 @ Tomorrow Never Knows – Schubas – Chicago, IL ^
Jan 18 @ The Listening Room – Grand Rapids, MI ^
* w/ Lady Lamb
^ US Headline Tour
Photography: Bryan Delagarza