Toothless is the new project from Ed Nash, bassist for Bombay Bicycle Club. His debut album The Pace of the Passing is set for release on the 27th of January on Rostrum Records. To all intents and purposes, Toothless and his debut record have been carefully conceived by Nash. Everything up to and including the album’s artwork ties into the central themes that run throughout the record including astronomy, myths and naturally, the passing of time.

As curious a moniker as it may seem, the name Toothless comes from a Raymond Pettibon drawing. The US artist (infamous amongst the 1980s LA punk scene for his gig posters) drew a tiger biting off a boy’s head with the caption, ‘Even toothless, she can still bite off a boy’s head.” The idea of something being toothless, but still having bite struck Ed as strangely compelling. Nobody expects ‘side projects’ to achieve very much, especially the side project of a bass player and so the name stuck.

Despite The Pace of the Passing being very much the mind of one man, Toothless welcomes some friends to assist in finding his vision. Marika Hackman (Palm’s Backside), Tom Fleming of Wild Beasts (The Midas Touch), Bombay collaborator Liz Lawrence (Party For Two), and The Staves (The Sirens) all add vocal flourishes to the respective songs, whilst Bombay Bicycle Club‘s vocalist Jack Steadman shares the production duties with Ed himself.

The Pace of the Passing is a beautifully realized, and carefully constructed record. You can hear a delicious sense of left-field playfulness in the melodies across the whole album, and rather than obscure them with fuzzy noise, or layer them up with guitar on guitar, Ed just allows them to radiate and glow in their own simplicity. It’s a charm he employs on both “Charon” and “Sisyphus”, the opening tracks, and then weaves across the whole album. Despite endless highlights, it’s an album that deserves to be heard as it was made to be heard, in its entirety. A playlist in its own right.


The Pace of the Passing Track Listing:
1. Charon
2. Sisyphus
3. Palm’s Backside (Featuring Marika Hackman)
4. Alright Alright Alright
5. Midas Touch (Featuring Tom Fleming)
6. Party For Two (Featuring Liz Lawrence)
7. You Thought I Was Your Friend (I Want To Hurt You)
8. The Sun’s Midlife Crisis
9. The Sirens (Featuring The Staves)
10. Terra