Mix Review: TOLEDO – Lovely

There's something about the production on TOLEDO's Lovely single that draws me in. The melodies and the song itself has plenty of hooks, but it's the production that makes this a powerful song.
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There’s something about the production on TOLEDO‘s Lovely single that draws me in. The melodies and the song itself has plenty of hooks, but I believe it’s the production that makes this a powerful song… and one you’ll listen to on repeat.

The dog barking faintly in the opening beat pulls you into what I imagine is their home studio. As an engineer, I have a tendency to remove the hiss, but with this song, the gentle hiss adds the right lo-fi element. The kick and snare sound so good. The EQ gives the snare a nice fat sound, and the attack on the attack on the kick is emphasized more than the kick’s 50 Hz, giving the kick+snare a compact sound. The doubled vocals and harmonies have a high pass filter at likely 400 Hz, which places it perfectly with the low mids of the guitar. Then when the chorus begins at 0:54, the bass comes in, as does the 50 Hz on the kick. It gives the chorus a great dynamic, and in my opinion, it is this dynamic that elevates the song.

At 1:26, the second verse hits, complete with the bass and deep kick. It sounds as though the bottom mic on the snare (an SM57?) is brought up a little more than it initially is, helping it cut through the additional instruments, handclaps and all. There’s a very slight vocal plate mixed in with the layered vocals that add to the depth of the song, beginning at the second verse. I think I count at least six layers of guitars through the song, plus several synths that are all brought in nicely. The tightly compressed horns at 2:30 really put the song over the top for me.

All in all, TOLEDO retains a lo-fi sound throughout the song. I find the mix and this band very inspiring! I love everything about this song (I added it Puddlegum Mixtape: tape two).

Lovely is also available on Spotify and SoundCloud (and YouTube).

TOLEDO links:

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Kevin Flick
Kevin Flick

Kevin Flick founded Puddlegum in 1997 and has been engaging in music journalism off and on since. He's also a recording/mixing engineer and loves to help bands work through the creative process. He has coproduced and mixed for artists such as Saeyers, Midi Memory, and Cathedral Bells.

Rumors are that he's a Brighton Hove & Albion FC fan. He's also obsessed with coffee. Kevin resides in the college community of Bloomington, Indiana, where he studied at Indiana University.

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