Dan Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz have a special bond. Growing up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the two were fast and unshakable friends through sleepovers, school choir practices, and discovering formative bands, to the point that now, as roommates in Brooklyn, they finish each other’s sentences. This shared history and obvious love for each other are tangible in their songwriting project TOLEDO, named after the Spanish town and Álvarez’s familial namesake. Their music, which is full of seamless harmonies throughout, skirts the softer edges of indie rock and the darker fringes of pop with each song imbuing a heaping dose of vulnerability and emotional openness.
On How It Ends, their debut album which is out September 23 via Grand Jury Music, the two dive into each other’s family histories and traumas as they navigate their own lives as twenty-something musicians. These tracks are striking for their blunt honesty but also for the way Álvarez and Dunn-Pilz’s real-life chemistry translates on record: the 12 songs are as tender as a warm hug and as clarifying as a needed reality check. This LP is the product of deep self-reflection and the necessary hard work that comes with any relationship.