“Toll was originally composed as a song to hold hands with decay and death. Recording alongside Joel Burton who arranged the violin and woodwind parts brought the song to life and allowed for space and freedom within it, while Alex Mckenzie’s flute solo beautifully introduces us into its world. My drummer Cassidy Hansen wrote and directed the video, magically closing the circle.”
That idea of “hold[ing] hands with death and decay” is still very much intact at the start of “Toll”, where Bock sighs “When it takes its toll / And the world breaks down its walls / It’ll be you who hurts the most,” some gorgeously mournful flute underlining her mood. The song could easily then lapse into a lonesome traipse through pain, but instead its completely subverted with a sudden burst of life – fiddle, drums jaunty guitar and more kicking up dust as energy returns to the songwriter’s mind. It completely shifts the tone and aim of the song, making it uplifting but no less profound. By the time of the conclusion, with instrumentation squeaking from every corner, you can practically envision Bock in a barn dance with the grim reaper, and everyone’s smiling.
Watch the video for “Toll” below or listen on streaming platforms.
Naima Bock’s debut album Giant Palm arrives on July 1 through Sub Pop / Memorials of Distinction. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.