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Tones and I - Welcome To The Madhouse

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Welcome To The Madhouse

Tones and I

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The effusive debut full-length album from Australia's Toni Watson (aka Tones and I), 2021's Welcome to the Madhouse finds her further expanding the uplifting electronic pop she first showcased on her 2019 EP The Kids Are Coming. With her cherubically buoyant voice and outsider attitude, Watson makes infectious Top 40-friendly songs with enough of a personally distinctive point of view that they often feel like she's singing directly to her fans and from her own experience. This personal touch extends to her production, which, while primarily just featuring Watson playing keyboards and crafting beats, often evokes the spare kineticism of Latin and reggaeton artists. Cuts like the opening title track, "She Won't Sleep," and "Fly Away" are rhythmically infectious tunes built around sinewy, montuno-esque keyboard and percussion patterns that Watson builds with increasing intensity toward her hooky and robust choruses. Elsewhere, she strikes a nice balance between R&B balladry and finger-snap-accented '50s pop on "Lonely." It's a style that falls nicely in between her contemporaries Billie Eilish and Halsey. She also brings to mind Sia with her ability to combine mainstream pop hooks with lyrics that feel like she's working through trauma. On "Cloudy Day" (a song written in the wake of the death of her friend footballer Ben Tournier in a car crash), she ruminates on trying to live in the now, singing "And am I wiser?/For holding close the friends I make/But if I'm wise, then why this feeling/Of a trial that I can't shake?" Watson does shake her trials loose throughout Welcome to the Madhouse, turning her inner fears into outsized pop anthems.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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Welcome To The Madhouse

Tones and I

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1
Welcome To The Madhouse
00:02:36

Dann Hume, Producer, MixingEngineer - Richard Stolz, RecordingEngineer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Daniel Frizza, RecordingEngineer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, RecordingEngineer - THE CHO1R, Choir

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

2
Lonely
00:03:44

Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Daniel Frizza, RecordingEngineer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - THE CHO1R, Choir

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

3
Won't Sleep
00:03:17

Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the world excluding Australia and New Zealand, ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

4
Westside Lobby
00:03:39

Dann Hume, MixingEngineer - Capi, Producer - Richard Stolz, RecordingEngineer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

5
Fly Away
00:02:58

Dann Hume, Producer, Mixer, Programmer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2020 Bad Batch Records

6
Sad Songs
00:03:14

Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Daniel Frizza, RecordingEngineer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - THE CHO1R, Choir

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

7
Just A Mess
00:03:51

Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

8
Child's Play
00:03:39

Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

9
Not Going Home
00:03:31

Dann Hume, Producer, MixingEngineer - Richard Stolz, RecordingEngineer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

10
Dark Waters
00:03:34

Richard Stolz, RecordingEngineer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Konstantin Kersting, Producer, MixingEngineer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

11
Cloudy Day
00:03:05

Dann Hume, Producer, Mixer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Daniel Frizza, Recorded by - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Recorded by

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

12
You Don't Know My Name
00:03:14

Dann Hume, Producer, MixingEngineer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, RecordingEngineer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

13
Fall Apart
00:04:08

Dann Hume, Producer, MixingEngineer - Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, RecordingEngineer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

14
Bars (RIP T)
00:01:59

Andrei Eremin, Masterer - Tones and I, MainArtist - Toni Watson, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Randy Belculfine, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer

Under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., © 2021 Bad Batch Records. under exclusive license to Elektra Records LLC for the World excluding Australia and New Zealand., ℗ 2021 Bad Batch Records

Album Description

The effusive debut full-length album from Australia's Toni Watson (aka Tones and I), 2021's Welcome to the Madhouse finds her further expanding the uplifting electronic pop she first showcased on her 2019 EP The Kids Are Coming. With her cherubically buoyant voice and outsider attitude, Watson makes infectious Top 40-friendly songs with enough of a personally distinctive point of view that they often feel like she's singing directly to her fans and from her own experience. This personal touch extends to her production, which, while primarily just featuring Watson playing keyboards and crafting beats, often evokes the spare kineticism of Latin and reggaeton artists. Cuts like the opening title track, "She Won't Sleep," and "Fly Away" are rhythmically infectious tunes built around sinewy, montuno-esque keyboard and percussion patterns that Watson builds with increasing intensity toward her hooky and robust choruses. Elsewhere, she strikes a nice balance between R&B balladry and finger-snap-accented '50s pop on "Lonely." It's a style that falls nicely in between her contemporaries Billie Eilish and Halsey. She also brings to mind Sia with her ability to combine mainstream pop hooks with lyrics that feel like she's working through trauma. On "Cloudy Day" (a song written in the wake of the death of her friend footballer Ben Tournier in a car crash), she ruminates on trying to live in the now, singing "And am I wiser?/For holding close the friends I make/But if I'm wise, then why this feeling/Of a trial that I can't shake?" Watson does shake her trials loose throughout Welcome to the Madhouse, turning her inner fears into outsized pop anthems.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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