T.O.L.D. is the moniker of Los Angeles-via-Britain producer, singer, and songwriter Daniel James Smith. The acronym stands for The Order of Life and Death. That’s a heavy name to bestow upon oneself, and he brings a darkly shaded vibe to the multi-genre melds on his debut It’s Not About The Witches, but his aesthetic is not all doom and gloom. He has a versatile balance which helps to keep things from becoming too grave, but still elicits powerful emotion from the combination of his lyrics and soundscapes.
“2 Young” is exemplary of his sound. It’s a song about indulging in the carelessness and perceived invincibility of youth and one day looking up to wonder how much irreparable damage has been done. He sings with a choir-esque harmony, “I saw it all when I was too young/ I smoked the devil down to my lungs/ I think I’ve been drowning too long/ I regret nothing, I was too young.” And though those are dark thoughts and sentiments, the ominous synths driving the track in the beginning give way to a feel of a celebration with playful tribal drums, bright synths, and soaring atmospheric sweeps to offset before an inventive ending. The song begins in the depths of youth lyrically, but sonically it communicates the hope that comes from developing the inner strength to emerge from those depths stronger, wiser, and hopeful. Listen.
It’s Not About The Witches is out 6/17 via IAMSOUND.