You go from busking the streets to releasing a single that becomes the longest-running chart-topper in Australian music history. It also hits number one in more than 30 countries and you win four ARIA Awards. Welcome to the madhouse…
It’s been an unbelievable couple of years for Toni Watson, who’s better known as Tones and I. Talk about growing up in public. “And smile,” she sings, “they’re all watching.” The title track of her debut album – which doesn’t include Dance Monkey – documents her remarkable rise. It’s a potent piece of pop, both playful and paranoid. “Welcome to a place you’ve never been, a place you always dreamed of,” she invites the listener in her distinctive voice. “But here, nothing’s as it seems… be careful what you wish for.”
The album is both cautionary tale and celebration. “All they wanna do is put me on medication,” she confides in Lonely; “Writing all this music’s like my form of meditation.”
She’s not afraid to share her innermost thoughts – and the record is all the better for it – but instead of being a downer, the album soars with undeniable pop hooks and a savage sense of humour. Yep, Welcome to the Madhouse is a triumph for Tones and I, silencing the doubters who tipped she’d be a One Hit Wonder. As she sings, “Welcome, let the song take you away.”
Welcome to the Madhouse by Tones and I is out now, including on JB Hi-Fi exclusive orange vinyl (pictured above), via Sony.
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