‘Shopping Mall’, by 87 and the Toys sounds like it’s been recorded by the love children of Fred Schneider of the B52s and Lene Lovich. It’s a vibe, it’s a real vibe I tell you.
Released 22 March, ‘Shopping Mall’ might have simple lyrics, but it certainly packs a punch and a half musically. Not only that, but you’re going to find it impossible to resist dancing to the high octane rhythms. The beat goes on and on and on, and the guitars are as jangly as they come.
87 and the Toys are right there among the finest Athens Georgia have to offer, and among them of course are the afore-mentioned B-52s. ‘Shopping Mall’ is from their 2022 EP, The Smile Room, and while sure, there’s no deep and meaningful aspect to this song, why should there have to be? We’re living in very strange times right now, and so why shouldn’t we have some fun with the music we listen to!
87 and the Toys comprises drummer and backing vocalist Hana Irie, her boyfriend Patrick Luckett, both hailing from San Francisco, and Dave Skidmore, from Kentucky, but also living out West. Hana is of full Japanese heritage, and Patrick is half-Japanese, so their band name, 87 and the Toys is Patrick’s homage to Hana, with the syllables “HA NA” being related to the number 87 in Japan. This of course means Patrick and Dave are the toys, and why not?
The trio spent some time in Portland, Oregon, where their quirky style was welcomed by the musical fraternity up there, but after a while they longed for some sunshine and a bit less rain – so as both men had previously lived in the South, they upped sticks and moved to Georgia.
Speaking of ‘Shopping Mall’, Patrick Luckett said,
“This song is a total stream of consciousness. It is the only song I have ever written that has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Amusingly, it is the one people ask me about the most at the end of shows. People often tell me what they think it means. I remember Michael Stipe of R.E.M. saying something like he does not like to explain his songs because he does not want to ruin it for someone who thinks it means something special to them. Therefore, I usually say something like ya got it man, that’s what Shopping Mall is all about bro! Haha.”