(“Peasant Dreams” single art)

Local Bay Area bad boy and multi-instrumentalist Samuelito Cruz has been releasing music under the pseudonym Toner for only short time, but with the help of Kennan Choy (bass) and Sam’s older brother as their recording engineer, he’s put out an EP, an LP, and a new single in anticipation of a 7″.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=3671907584 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

That’s quite a bit of songwriting for someone who also spends time playing with several other active Bay Area music groups, namely Happy Diving and Never Young, but listening to Toner, his busy schedule has had no detriment to the quality of the songs. “Peasant Dreams” is a new song that the group plans on rerecording during a brief West Coast stint later this year, and it comes on the heels of a 9 song LP released only this May. The single expands on the sound that Toner have cultivated – a mix of slow-core and dream pop with a spry, bouncy rhythm section.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1353213481 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=2911583895]

Arguably begun as a Duster worship band, Toner has evolved into much more, with distinctly warbled leads and jazzy progressions over which Sam’s soft, whispered vocals ebb and flow.

Though their debut LP came out three months ago, the physical vinyl has only just begun shipping, and in celebration of seeing the songs pressed to this format, Toner is having their record release this month, August 29th at Econo Jam Records in Oakland, with Bay favorites Unity and Tony Molina. There’ll be limited vinyl variants and posters, for all the collectors out there.

Like a nostalgic keepsake, Toner’s “rough around the edges” dream pop keeps you returning for another look, another listen. Check out the full record below, and make plans to see both Lil B at Good Mother Gallery AND Toner on the 29th.


Toner, Tony Molina, Unity
Econo Jam Records
August 29th, 2015
6pm, All Ages, Free