The album was originally recorded by Young and the band in 2001 before being shelved. It was then finally announced for a July 8 release date earlier this year.
Young revealed his plans to drop ‘Toast’ – named for the San Francisco studio in which it was minted – in a post shared to his blog, the Neil Young Archives. Though that post has since been deleted, ‘Toast’ is locked in for release on Friday (July 8) via Reprise. CD and vinyl pre-orders are available from Young’s webstore, The Greedy Hand, with a sell describing the record as “heavy and distressed, brimming with electrifying tension”.
Saying that the album was “so sad at the time that I couldn’t put it out,” Young added of ‘Timberline’: “The scene changes to a religious guy who just lost his job. He’s turning on Jesus. He can’t cut any more trees. He’s a logger.”
Listen to ‘Timberline’ below.
According to Young, ‘Toast’ is “an album that stands on its own in [his] collection”. He cited the record’s melancholic tone as a reason why it never left the studio, explaining in last May’s aforementioned blog post: “Unlike any other, ‘Toast’ was so sad that I couldn’t put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place. I couldn’t handle it at that time. 2001.”
He went on to say that the record was “about a relationship”, chronicling a particularly bleak point in its dissolution. He continued: “There is a time in many relationships that go bad, a time long before the break up, where it dawns on one of the people, maybe both, that it’s over. This was that time.
“The sound is murky and dark, but not in a bad way. Fat. From the first note, you can feel the sadness that permeates the recording… These songs paint a landscape where time doesn’t matter – because everything is going south. A lady is lost in her car. The dark city surrounds her – past present and future. It’s a scary place. You be the judge.”
Elsewhere, Young has announced his plans to release ‘Noise & Flowers’, a live album and film compiled from material recorded during his most recent tour of Europe and the UK.
Young embarked on the nine-date run with Promise Of The Real as his backing band, taking in four shows in Germany – as well as one each in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, England and Ireland – across July of 2019. The album and film will feature recordings from all of the shows; the CD and two-disc vinyl release will sport 14 tracks, but it’s unclear if the film (which was co-directed by Bernard Shakey and DH Lovelife) contains the same content.
Both iterations of the release will land on August 5 via Warner Records, with pre-orders available here.
Earlier today (July 4), the music of Crosby, Stills and Nash returned to Spotify after the musicians initially removed all of their music earlier this year in solidarity with Young.