ToughiesIs there a better opening track this year than “Stone Cold?” I’m having a tough time finding one: the roaring pain in the lead vocals, the stunning group harmonies on the chorus, that ripping guitar… Goddamn this is a great song. The dreamy blues are a time machine that take us from a 1950s sock hop to 1970s FM radio, but in the end this a purely modern song (with an old soul and a soft spot for nostalgia). The climax of the subtle drums building to a crash only to let us down easy is a fantastic misdirection. I’ll say it again: this is a great song.

ToughiesAnd Sweet Dream only continues to follow suit with the breezy break-up anthem of “Tuesday” (the vocals coo “Love is the hardest game to play without a team”). Who knew heartache could sound so sweet? The easy vibes on “Frenchie” give us a brief affair and some cute humor; a rebound track of sorts from the lost love on “Tuesday.” Toughies wrap up their EP with the majestic “Closer To Heaven,” mixing folky sentiments with an underlying sadness (and an incredible trumpet solo) that mixes in a small party in the middle of the song. “When I left you back home I never thought I’d see you so soon.” It’s a real devastator and leaves Sweet Dream with a lingering melancholy that could only be described as bittersweet.

Favorite Tracks: “Stone Cold” & “Closer To Heaven”

See them live!

Toughies will be playing Spring Into Summer Fest this Saturday at the Replay.



Nathan has contributed to I Heart Local Music since November 2012. He lives in Kansas City, MO.

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