Layto Shares Debut Album ‘alternative psycho’ [Album Review]

Kieran Kohorst
Credit: Anna Azarov

There’s a psycho living in all of us, and it often comes out in ways we may not like. It’s hard not to like the sound of Layto’s alternative psycho, music from the perspective of the artist’s alter ego. The project has shared qualities with the film American Psycho, showcasing the good and bad of a complex character who is cautiously likable. Layto’s alter ego, in his own words, is “a bit psychotic, which is mainly internalized via intrusive thoughts.” On the album, Layto finds cooperation between his two contradicting personalities, revitalizing his past of mental health issues and addiction struggles into songs people can latch on to when facing similar challenges. 

alternative psycho serves many purposes: for Layto, the music was an opportunity to continue spreading joy among his listeners; for fans, they hear a relatable perspective that offers some comfort as they overcome personal battles; for other listeners, the album satisfies the undying need of innovative sound. Taking inspiration from acts like Post Malone, Russ, and Twenty One Pilots, the combination of genres present on alternative psycho is an intentional act by Layto to form “an amalgamation of music that I want to be tenable for people,” he says in a press release. Highlighted most on tracks “in bed with a psycho,”  “freak out,” and “save urself (runaway),” Layto’s first LP showcases his most essential characteristics as an artist. 

The album arrives after 2022’s ARRIVED EP and at the total apex of Layto’s career so far. His music is at its most refined, and the Boston native is more comfortable than ever in his art. After performing a show in his hometown last year, he says that he finally felt as if he had “made it” as an artist. That feeling runs through alternative psycho, a defining project for a voice with a higher purpose. 

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