Tones And I (aka Toni Watson) has revealed that she’s begun working on her second studio album, with plans to release it in the second half of 2022.
- READ MORE: The story behind Tones And I, the Australian busker topping the charts with ‘Dance Monkey’
In a new interview with Dave Ruby Howe for triple j’s Hottest 100-themed program The Tally Room, Watson said the record would be released in August, and noted that her current demos sound “very different” to the style heard on her 2021 debut, ‘Welcome To The Madhouse’.
“I kind of just told my managers when I started writing, when I was just overseas,” she said. “I started writing, and I kept writing, and then I was like, ‘I have to put this stuff out, and I need to put it out quick because I’m going to get sick of it real soon. So then I just told my managers, ‘I’m dropping an album,’ and they were like, ‘Sweet.’ Which is great – y’know, you shouldn’t really have to ask to release music.”
Among the tracks that could appear on Watson’s as-yet-untitled second album is a collaboration with Macklemore. Dubbing the ‘Downtown’ rapper her “favourite artist”, Watson explained: “It’s been a long time coming, since he first surprised me in Seattle in 2019. He wanted me to record vocals on a track we’re doing together so I had to do that in person [in the US].”
Elsewhere in the chat, Watson teased that she would embark on an Australian tour in October. Her last headline tour of the country went down last May, however she did perform a surprise set on the streets of Melbourne last month. Performing some of her biggest hits, including ‘Can’t See The Rain’ and breakout single ‘Dance Monkey’, Watson returned to her busking roots as part of the Victorian government’s ‘On The Road Again’ initiative.
‘Welcome To The Madhouse’ was released back in July of 2021 via Bad Batch / Sony. It spurned a trio of chart-topping singles, first with ‘Fly Away’ in November 2020 (followed by performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Ellen, as well as a melancholic redux), then ‘Won’t Sleep’ last May and ‘Cloudy Day’ in June.
NME listed ‘Welcome To The Madhouse’ as one of its top Australian picks for July 2021, with writer Alex Gallagher saying it would “cement all the qualities that made Tones And I’s breakout single such a hit – while reflecting on the whirlwind journey it’s taken her on since”.
Shortly after the album was released, Watson revealed that she plans to eventually cease performing as Tones And I. “Realistically, I’m going to give myself another four years,” she said, “then I want to be a songwriter.”
Nevertheless, Watson continued her meteoric rise to stardom in 2021. Last month, it was announced she’d scored the title of Spotify’s fifth most-streamed song in Australia for the year, thanks to ‘Fly Away’.