Album Spotlight: Boston`s fastest-growing artist, Layto, escapes depression and anxiety with blistering debut LP, alternative psycho.
How the alt/hip-hop Boston-born artist became the voice of a fractured generation with his acclaimed debut album, alternative psycho. He shares more hard-fought battles with his mental health on the rereleased Deluxe version of the LP.
Singer/songwriter Layto has shared the Deluxe version of his successful debut album, alternative psycho, with three unreleased songs affirming his status as a generation-defining artist.
For those who have yet to be introduced to Layto, the critically acclaimed artist – born Paul Catalano – hails from Boston, where he grew up in what he describes as a lively yet occasionally dysfunctional household. Layto’s younger years set the scene for his evolution into being an artist. Inspired by his father’s affinity for crooners like Sinatra and Dean Martin and his appreciation of Motown/R&B artists like Stevie Wonder and Brian Knight, Layto began seriously working on himself as a vocalist. But his teenage encounters with Eminem lit a fire under Layto and helped him find ways to articulate his pain, anxiety, and honesty in music.
Now, Layto is heralded as one of the top rising artists making music today. His artistic journey has seen him make intense and relatable music, profoundly connecting with listeners.
On Layto’s debut album, alternative psycho, listeners heard him push boundaries by speaking honestly about his troubled personality. On songs like ‘in bed with a psycho’ and ‘ugly truth,’ Layto bared his soul and took a warts-and-all approach to revealing his personality. All of this stemmed from a desire to give a voice to millions of people who, like him, are at war with their depression – letting them know they’re not alone.
“[Depression’s] something I’ve dealt with from a very young age, and though I’ve learned techniques to manage it, I would say mental health is my most drawn-upon motif,” Layto shares. “I want people to hear it and feel connected. It brings me much joy when my music can bring someone happiness, and it’s clear it has done so over the past five years.”
On the Deluxe version of his LP, Layto continues searching for answers to how to deal with his anxiety and fissured mental well-being. Lead track ‘better off’ explores the kneejerk violence and aggression that can bubble up following a break-up. Layto has a particular way of channelling all his anger into his music so that ‘better off’ feels like a ticking timebomb that has just been set off.
The music video for the track sees Layto playing the role of a patient confined to an asylum – representing his declining mental state following said break-up. In the video – a shocking, intense affair from start to finish – there’s external and self-inflicted pain, beautifully capturing how it feels when someone is ripped from your life.
Layto’s TikTok @singsonglayto has skyrocketed since its launch in 2023 now with an impressive 120k followers. And if that wasn’t enough, Layto broke over one-million monthly listeners on Spotify. Don`t sleep.
Photo Credit: Anna Azarov