The High Llamas – “Toriafan”

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The High Llamas – “Toriafan”


The High Llamas, Sean O’Hagan’s idiosyncratic and long-running indie-pop project, will return this spring with the new album Hey Panda. It’s the first new High Llamas LP since 2016, and we’ve already posted the title track, which is literally about a cute panda’s TikTok account. Today, O’Hagan has followed that song with the rich, layered ballad “Toriafan.” It’s a twinkly, off-kilter take on contemporary R&B. Somehow, the track finds room for Auto-Tuned squeaks and impressionistic strings. The British artists Rae Morris and Fryars contribute guest-vocals as does O’Hagan’s daughter Livvy. Here’s what O’Hagan says about it:

The song is about learning through action and not through the page. It speaks to those with dyslexia. I did not learn well in the classroom. I was a slow reader and to this day learn as a listener and conversationalist. I failed all my exams and worked on construction sites and car factories from 15 to 23. It features vocals from my daughter Livvy, Rae Morris, and Fryars, plus a really confusing chord journey that could be Connie Converse but then falls away like Dorothy Ashby.

Listen to “Toriafan” below.

Hey Panda is out 3/29 on Drag City.

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