Premiere: “Heart Toll” by Albis


Ladies and gentlemen, time to pair up that Thanksgiving turkey and the ever-addictive stuffing with some excellent tunage. Today there is a brand new obsession to match with all that food for music fans to enjoy. Brooklynite Albis has proudly released his newest tune, Heart Toll, to unleash the perfect earworm for the holidays. Not only is the tune perfect for catching the ears of listeners, it is yet another prime example of a way for people to seek an escape from it all. To get a better picture of musical magic, the man himself, Mr. Oscar Albis Rodriguez, gave a glimpse of the song’s background.

Overall, the motivation was deep and personal for the musician. “My wife and I were having a tough time in our marriage and she wrote the lyrics when we were both feeling pretty down. She lives in Philly, and I was recording in Brooklyn when I received the song from her. I think I had devised a melody by the time I was reading the second verse.” Talk about emotional teamwork.

Heart Toll has an interesting message inside of it from there. Albis gave elaborated a bit more, “if I want to be dark about it I’d say it’s about isolation, depression, and regret. That said, I think there’s a desire from the writer’s perspective to feel better and to make the living situation better.” Despite the tone of the lyrics, the song itself is full of vibrant energy that is instantly captivating.

Musically, the song is fascinating. Out of it, Albis had a very specific area that he loved most that listeners should enjoy. “[I love] verse three. I really enjoy the breakdown and the build. This was so much fun to record! Zach Jones (who played drums on this recording) and I both play in A Great Big World, and we booked time at Big Star’s Ardent Studios when AGBW had a day off on tour. It was a dream come true recording there. We even met Jody from Big Star!” Not only did they create an astonishing song, but they had the time of their lives doing it. Is there a better way to create art?

Give Heart Toll a listen below:

The best part of the unusually short tune is that it starts right off the bat with a grinding set of exuberant rock and roll. Heart Toll has no delay in timing, Albis is on a mission to get the listener to bob their head with immediate ease. Albis’ vocals seem strong but focussed on some internal frustration at hand. He is telling a story, almost like he is speaking vicariously through the theme he mentioned about his relationship with his wife at the time. Bearing it all out in the open is a courageous endeavor. The guitar solo is clean and full of pleasurable wails. Throughout the entire bit, the grinding discordant melody seems to keep the energy alive and makes the avid music fan eager for more. Crashing and burning sensations can be felt as the listener is propelled to explore the realm of this almost hard rock tune that Albis has so beautifully concocted. Join the obsession, it is well worth it!

Jam On.