Canadian legend Neil Young has announced the release of Toast, an album he and Crazy Horse recorded in 2001 but originally shelved.
Young revealed the plans to release the album, named after the San Francisco studio where it was recorded, in a post on his blog, The Neil Young Archives. As is customary for Young, the post has now been deleted, but we can tell you that Toast will be released on July 8th via Reprise. You can pre-order the CD and vinyl from Young’s webstore, The Greedy Hand. The record is described as “heavy and distressed, brimming with electrifying tension”.
The news was accompanied with a roaring new track titled ‘Standing in the Light of Love’, which sees Young and the band amp it up to the same levels that earned him the moniker ‘The Godfather of Grunge’. The riff is vintage Neil Young, as is the chorus, a melodic sing-a-long. When discussing Toast last year, the troubadour described it as “sort of like a Deep Purple hit”. Per an account from Young, Toast is “an album that stands on its own in [his] collection”.
He explained that the sad essence of the album is one of the reasons why it never saw the light of day, in his blog, he wrote: “Unlike any other, ‘Toast’ was so sad that I couldn’t put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place. I couldn’t handle it at that time. 2001.”
He then revealed that the album is “about a relationship”, telling the story of the point when he knew it was over. “There is a time in many relationships that go bad, a time long before the break up, where it dawns on one of the people, maybe both, that it’s over. This was that time.”
“The sound is murky and dark, but not in a bad way. Fat. From the first note, you can feel the sadness that permeates the recording… These songs paint a landscape where time doesn’t matter – because everything is going south. A lady is lost in her car. The dark city surrounds her – past present and future. It’s a scary place. You be the judge”, Young explained. “Then the scene changes to a religious guy who just lost his job. He’s turning on Jesus. He can’t cut any more trees. He’s a logger.”
Young did clarify that in the years following the recording of Toast, he “had forgotten about these songs, put them out of [his] mind and went on living [his] life”, but that he now regards the body of work differently. “It must be said that here Crazy Horse shows a depth never seen or heard before,” he boasted. “The greatest group I have ever met. This is a pinnacle.”
Listen to ‘Standing in the Light of Love’.