Some great trilogies of our time include The Lord of The Rings, Back to The Future, and The Matrix. You can now add the 'Accountability Trilogy' into the mix after the recent release of 'Getaway Driver' by Toerags. The release completed the trilogy and is this week's Homegrown Hit.
Like all great trilogies, the Southampton based alternative pop/R&B/rap duo of Mike and Damian have weaved a storyline throughout the three tracks. Mike shares that all three tracks in the trilogy "tell that accountability story from different perspectives."
The first, 'We Can Do It', which debuted back in 2019, Mike describes as "a bit looser and a bit more fun"; the songs meaning looks into the idea of "being free and liberated". 'Older & Wiser' follows on, bringing to light the need to be mindful in 'We Can Do It' situations, which have the potential to cause harm. And the recently released 'Getaway Driver' shows the maturity of coming to terms with hurts caused and taking responsibility and accountability for those actions. In Mike's words: "it's when that maturity sets in. You realise you've hurt someone or you've ruined a situation and then it's your time to, either to shun the blame or, you can take the responsibility and the accountability and you can deal with that hurt and mature from it."
This story arch is even more evident in their music videos, which are filled with more Easter eggs than an episode of WandaVision. A fan of Southampton will find many hotspots from around the city; a fan of cinema will notice the subtle but intentional camera angles and shots that bring you deeper into the story. The use of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat takes characters from a self-proclaimed 'nonsense poem' by Edward Lear gives "the accountability ideas something physical to appropriate them to". They are also visible in the artwork for each track, all of which were made inhouse.
Mike and Damian, who met through Open Mic nights while at University in Southampton, have had gig opportunities in London sadly postponed due to the pandemic. A reality that many up-and-coming artists are dealing with. The hope is that, once restrictions are lifted, the duo can showcase their trilogy not just on YouTube but in in-person gigs around the UK. With tracks already waiting in the wings and another video planned, there's still plenty more to come from this franchise.
Creating a sound described by Mike as "if Frank Ocean and Mike Skinner had a jam", Toerags bring a deep and rich meaning to their music which, just like a good wine, only gets better with age.
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Words: Ryan Galpin