New Noise Magazine is premiering the track “Craven’s Dawn” from Toby Driver, of Kayo Dot. On the heels of Kayo Dot’s 2016 album Plastic House on Base of Sky, New York City based avant-garde musician Toby Driver sustains his inexhaustible output with a solo album titled Madonnawhore. The nine minute track that is “Craven’s Dawn” exposes Driver’s interest in electronic music, featuring a dynamic depth into the soundscape of the mind behind one of the most progressively music minded individuals to create music. It’s peaceful to the point it finds a way to continue its resonance in an artistic manner, opening up paths of the brain to be taken away to because of the song’s sonic imagery.
After exploring a retro-futurist noir sound on Kayo Dot’s 2014 album Coffins on Io then delving even further into electronic music with Plastic House on Base of Sky, Driver was eager to write a different kind of song. Madonnawhore represents a foray into traditional songwriting, stripped of the progressive flourishes and unpredictability of Kayo Dot. These six austere tracks are sparse and atmospheric, evoking empty spaces and the beauty sometimes inherent in death. They occupy a heretofore unexplored place in Driver’s oeuvre, and were recorded primarily as a solo effort but share some lyrical contributions from Jason Byron, who also writes for Kayo Dot.
Although not a concept album, Madonnawhore is united by its exploration of the “madonna-whore complex,” a psychological neurosis first identified by Sigmund Freud whereby a man feels he can only love a woman who maintains a saint-like purity, but desires to be intimate with someone he considers to be debased. This sacred/profane dichotomy has far reaching effects that are seemingly inescapable in modern society and ripe for examination.