I first witnessed the magic of Tora on stage with the acoustics of Red Hill Auditorium when they supported Rufus Du Sol back in 2016. Since then the band has spent the last few years traversing all corners of the globe. From LA to Europe, they have taken inspiration from cities like Amsterdam, Berlin and London. The band has two recorded studio albums and one single to their name, and their latest record, Can’t Buy The Mood is in true in name as it is in nature—a reflective collection of moods, memories and feelings captured in 13 unique tracks. Each tune on the album embodies a different mood, yet the track order seamlessly strings the songs together in an expertly curated 40-minute immersion of sound and emotion.
The sound ebbs and flows from sensual honey tunes to something with more of a bop with techno influence. The opening track, Deviate is sensual in its exploration of a dying passion. The lyrics are full of space for Joe Loewenthal’s dreamy vocals. Track two, Mother Forgot is slightly grimier with variations in Shaun Johnston’s bass tempo. It takes on elements of the pop horror genre that has sky-rocketed a young Billie Eilish to fame.
The title track is rightly the moodiest of the songs. Single chord piano progressions open the first few bars, the layers become thicker with Loewenthal’s main vocal line complemented by harmonies from Jai Piccone and Tobias Tunis-Plant. It builds with a slab of everything peaking in the middle before falling away to fade out as easily as the first few piano chords at the beginning of the song.
Ice Bucket is one of the boppier arrangements of the record. Fans of Moses Sumney will be able to get around the cosmic falsetto and underlying bouncy electronic mixes. Bringing the sass, the lads join with BOI for Control embodying the heat of the first encounter with someone.
Inspired by themes of human connection, the album was written during ‘a period of intense reflection on the self and on society as a whole’ lead vocalist Joe Loewenthal said.
‘Can’t Buy The Mood is a reminder that money, fame and material objects alone do not create happiness and deep satisfaction,’ he said.
‘We wanted to create something that could inspire people to be kinder to each other and more accepting of each other’s beliefs, but ultimately we hope this record encourages more frequent and meaningful human connection.’
Can’t Buy The Mood embodies the evolution of Tora’s music whilst still paying homage to the sound that started all when they first released Jaigantic in 2014.
Tora’s new album, Can’t Buy The Mood, is now available on streaming platforms.