Order of the Toad – Lady’s Mantle (Gringo Records / Reckless Yes)

Order of the Toad – Lady’s Mantle (Gringo Records / Reckless Yes)

Lady’s Mantle, the first single from the forthcoming second album from trio Order of the Toad, is a heady mix of folk pop with baroque flourishes released as a collaboration between labels Gringo Records and Reckless Yes.

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Order of the ToadArtist: Order of the Toad
Track: Lady’s Mantle
Label: Gringo Records / Reckless Yes
Released: 17 July 2020
Find it: Bandcamp

Almost architectural in structure, pale green leaves capture perfect globes of dew each morning and hold them aloft like pearls after the rain. As summer days lengthen long necks of tiny delicate yellow flowers stand graceful and protective over the jagged edge star-shaped foliage. As easily ignored as it is self-seeding Lady’s Mantle, Alchemilla, quietly holds a magic it’s happy to reveal to any who care to look into its secrets.

“The song is about past lives, readying the body for conception and fate. Lady’s Mantle or Alchemilla Mollis is a herb I found out about last year. It’s a good anti-inflammatory and strengthens the uterus. I started using it dried as a tea and have found it superb as a natural way to treat cramps,” says the band’s Gemma Fleet of the track, “In spring I planted a crop in the front garden, it grows readily in Scotland and as the Baader-Meinhof effect took hold I began to see it spring up everywhere, in parks and gardens across the city. The leaves trap dew in perfect drops. Local horticulturalist and neighbourhood garden botherer ‘Danny’ told me that the drops are supposed to have all sorts of magical properties including turning ordinary metals into gold, hence the name – Alchemilla.”

The single, like the plant, is full of hidden magic. It takes ten-a-penny genre blends and turns them into gold. Whimsical without being twee, hazey without being insubstantial, and psychedelic in a pleasantly mind-bending rather than bland trip way. Somewhere between devotional, wandering minstrel and Lounge in feel the deceptively simple melody holds a lot to uncover. This is not your ordinary alt-pop and no mistaking.

Coming ahead of the band’s second album – Re-Order of the Toad – in October, the single introduces a band who are (at risk of sounding cliched) quite unlike anything else around at the moment. 

Find Order of the Toad: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

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* Disclaimer: Sarah Lay is co-founder of Reckless Yes so is partially responsible for the release of this track. However, she would only release or write about music she really loved so this is more about enthusiasm for great music, and great artists than it is touting her own wares.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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