Lots of bands use toy instruments in their music, but few do it with as much dedication as Mike Langlie, the man behind Twink, the Toy Piano Band. Since 1999, Mike has been using his growing collection of toy pianos and other gear you’d more likely find at Toys R Us rather than Guitar Center to crank out seven albums’ worth of surprisingly diverse music. Given that Langlie himself calls this stuff “toytronica,” “cartoon pop,” or even “cutetronica,” you might assume it all sounds like it ought to be coming out of an ice cream truck. And yeah, some of it does. But much of it’s also funny, creepy and occasionally beautiful. Turns out these toys aren’t strictly for kids.
Mike was kind enough to send us a copy of his latest album, Itsy Bits & Bubbles, which is about as fun-loving and candy-colored as its title, although there’s a surprisingly strong bottom end to some of the tracks, too—I think it’s safe to say the man’s been listening to some dubstep. He’s also posted videos for most (all?) of the new album’s tracks, all built around cleverly edited vintage black-and-white cartoons. Here’s one of our favorites, for a truly twisted track called “Flibberty Gibbet.” Wonder if any DJs spin this type of stuff at Electric Daisy Carnival? If they don’t, they really should.