Toner – “High & Dry” (Stereogum Premiere)

Samuelito Cruz is known around the Bay Area for playing with the breakout bands Happy Diving and Never Young, but he’s also been releasing a significant number of songs since May of last year under the Toner moniker. Over the course of five months, Cruz recorded a series of songs alongside his brother in a shed behind his old house in Oakland. The result is his debut self-titled LP, which is set to be released in the spring of this year. On “High And Dry,” Cruz attempts to dive into the murky waters of self-reflection, but his effort turns into more of a glum bellyflop as each new verse emanates exhaustion. The track is inaugurated by a blanket statement, an ode to disaffection — “We’re all so tired of living and breathing when everyday’s the same it gets deceiving” — but Cruz’s lofty contemplations of existence begin to narrow and become more specific by the song’s close: “I know you’re sitting at home while I’m stoned & alone as I’m heading back to sleep.” It’s totally relatable, unpredictably earnest bummer punk. Listen below.

Toner will be out 4/7 via Don’t Live Like Me Records / Floorplan Records / Suspended Soul / Brothers Absurd Records. You can pre-order it here.