May 11, 2020 • Staff Reporter
Fearless Records is pleased to welcome Denver-based band NOT A TOY to the roster. The label announced the news during the Fearless At Home livestream event that took place on Saturday, May 9.
The band, which traffics in smooth and swaggy rock, has shared the video for the new song "J Cash," which mixes acoustic southern grit with piano and is equal parts hip-hop and western saloon. Watch + listen here. "We were in this dingy basement, and we just found out we were getting signed to Fearless," explains singer Branson Hoog. "So, the lyrics are super true, but they're also projecting where we're going. It's a bit of a cocky song. We felt like we had 'made' it, even though we were still in the basement." NOT A TOY will share more new music soon, while further details about their upcoming debut EP will be revealed in due time. Here's what else you need to know about NOT A TOY. NOT A TOY can't be classified as simply a band. Rather, they are a collective of four creatives — Branson Hoog [lead vocals], Jeremy Marmor [guitar], Benji Spoliansky [drums], and TJ Wessel [violin, keys]. "NOT A TOY is not just a band; it's a lifestyle of art and creation," says Hoog. "We're not the first to combine different genres of music, but we're also blending other artforms — from streetwear to art shows. We're a snapshot of this generation's tattooed youth and bedroom beatmakers. We're just creating, and there are no rules to creation." The members of this collective met in high school and cut their teeth in various projects together before launching NOT A TOY in 2020. Operating out of a shared house in Denver, the group's synergy results from the sum of its parts. Classically trained and on the violin from a young age, Wessel plays a slew of other instruments, adding a variety of textures and production to the sound. Marmor not only rips on guitar, but he also "makes trap beats so quickly it's ridiculous," while Spoliansky holds down the groove as the drummer and acts as an "overarching producer." Meanwhile, Hoog writes the majority of the lyrics and plays guitar and piano. Based on a background in graphic design and painting, he "brings the art to the project."