Aint No ‘Mountains’ High Enough For Toy City

Out now ‘Mountains’ is the second single from Toy City’s eponymous debut album, which is set for release on the 5th of May.

A years-long collaboration between Paul Burke and Steve Shaheen, when they started writing and performing together during the alt rock scene of Boston in the 1990s, sees the birth of ‘Toy City’ the album, due out on May 5. The songs themselves were written during the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown, and the themes of urgency and uncertainty are evident, and, with ‘Mountains’ in particular there’s a retro feel that takes this listener back to my teens in the 80s. The urgency is something that works well with the 80s vibe – back then it was a time of deep unease – we were all living under the spectre of nuclear war; in a lot of ways this feels quite similar.

Speaking about ‘Mountains’, lyricist Paul Burke says,

“‘Mountains’ was the last song completed on this record.  In some way it is the most satisfying because it feels like an overview looking back at the 10-year process of putting together this record.  But Mountains is also the story of the journey to becoming one’s true self.  Climbing the mountain is a metaphor for growing up, leaving childish ways behind, and becoming a man.”

To me, ‘Mountains’ has a similar feel to ‘Love My Way’ by the Psychedelic Furs. It’s a slower tempo than ‘Love My Way’ but the vocals, instrumentals, and particularly the refrain, all prick at my memory, in a very pleasing manner.

Because it was written during lockdown, ‘Toy City’ was by necessity recorded and mixed in home studios. This isn’t to say it’s lost anything it would have gained in a professional studio – it’s had the opposite effect, and rather given the track a rawness and authenticity that might have been lost, had it been mixed elsewhere.

‘Toy City’ is out on May 5. You can pre-order it from Bandcamp here, and also stream ‘Mountains’, and first single, ‘Do Re Mi’. Check out Toy City and their music online on their official website, Facebook, and Instagram.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email

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