|Toro y Moi — What For?|
Toro y Moi — What For?
♦♦♦ Originally icons of the lo–fi chillwave style, over time Chaz Bundick's project evolved into something livelier and more danceable.
♦♦♦ In his home studio, Bundick utilizes a Roland JX–3P, Moog Voyager, Fender Rhodes, and various soft synths.
♦♦♦ “I've done electronic R&B and more traditional recorded type R&B stuff — I just wanted to see what else was out there,” the musician previously said in a statement. “It's all coming from the same mindset and point of creativity. It's just me trying to take what I already have, and then taking it further.”
Birth name: Chazwick Bradley Bundick
Also known as: Chaz Bundick, Sides of Chaz, Les Sins
Born: November 7, 1986, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S
Genres: Indie pop, electronic, synthpop, chillwave
Occupation(s): Singer–songwriter, record producer
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, U.S
Album release: April 7, 2015
Record Label: Carpark Records
01 What You Want 3:27
02 Buffalo 3:18
03 The Flight 4:00
04 Empty Nesters 3:43
05 Ratcliff 2:42
06 Lilly 4:28
07 Spell It Out 2:54
08 Half Dome 3:15
09 Run Baby Run 2:45
10 Yeah Right 6:12
℗ 2015 Carpark Records
♦♦♦ Opening to the scream of F1 s speeding around a racetrack, and maintaining that intensity with booming guitar riffs and psychedelic effects throughout, the forthcoming album from Toro Y Moi is definitely making a statement. Or maybe a few statements. But Chaz Bundick, the frontman and songwriter, is leaving it up to you to figure out what they are. While it is obvious that each song is crafted around a personally meaningful experience, Chaz seems to purposefully leave the lyrics just vague enough to let each listener mold it into something unique. Chaz presents you with a few themes: love, beauty, nature; and gently lets go of your hand so you can wander off on your own.
♦♦♦ A feeling of searching for something threads its way through every song on the album, which is aptly named What For? It feels contradictory in a very human way, like Chaz is swinging between waiting for something and not being able to wait anymore. But the swinging isn t panicked or frustrated, it s just a situation that he s reflecting on. The songs are heavy with nostalgia, too, for simpler times, better music, more fulfilling relationships. Chaz references Weezer to warn you that there is no one to destroy your sweater and, in another song, recalls Big Star to declare that rock and roll is here to stay. It feels like he misses everything (even things he wasn t around for yet), but is somehow excited for what comes next.
♦♦♦ What For? is a glimpse into the life of a guy trying to figure out
what it all means. The music is influenced by bands like Big Star, Talking Heads, Tim Maia, Todd Rundgren, but it doesn t quite sound like any of them in particular. And it isn t trying to. It has that special something that Chaz imbues in every Toro Y Moi album, his personal filter on the world he experiences. So whatever message you take from the album, don t forget that it s good. As Chaz himself so candidly believes, Good is good. Good finds its own audience.
ANDY BETA, MARCH 29, 201511:03 PM ET
♦♦♦ The first sound you hear on Toro y Moi's fourth album is the buzz and roar of race–car engines on the speedway. For those who've followed Chaz Bundick since his debut album, 2010's Causers Of This, it's a peculiar sound. Bundick has never sounded like a man taken with velocity; with speeding quickly from one destination to the next. ♦♦♦ As one of the early progenitors of "chillwave," Toro y Moi has been about an unhurried sound, with a discography full of detours and pit stops: pretty folk garlands, gleaming R&B, wobbly '80s boogie. Bundick has absorbed all of it into his music along the way, with Underneath The Pine and Anything In Return revealing new wrinkles in his approach.
♦♦♦ That car noise that opens What For? soon slows down and gives way to the dreamy, fuzzy guitar lines of "What You Want." After the flirtations with the dance floor on last year's Les Sins side project — wherein Bundick was taken with acid house and early hip–hop — it seemed as if he might stay there awhile. But What For? takes a U–turn back to feel–tingly guitar–pop, with winsome results.
♦♦♦ The 10 songs here are based in a standard band set–up of guitar, bass, keys and drums, and are wholly obsessed with classic '70s pop radio, with all but two topping four minutes. "The Flight" evokes memories of Todd Rundgren's early–'70s heyday: Vintage keys and guitars swoop in at the chorus, the drums percolating underneath, Bundick's voice gently phased to give it all a hazy feel. Almost every track has a stylistic flourish that reveals a debt to Runt, as well as the likes of Big Star and ELO.
♦♦♦ Still, the interplay of Bundick with Unknown Mortal Orchestra guitarist Ruban Nielson and Real Estate associate Julian Lynch moves beyond mere homage. "Empty Nesters" flashes the sort of buoyant drums and bass that bring to mind Wilco's "Heavy Metal Drummer." But while the rhythm section holds things down, the psychedelic swirls of guitar, keys and harmonizing vocals shake free of gravity and wobble up toward the sky like a balloon. In "Buffalo," Toro y Moi's breezy groove makes for the perfect springtime listen, ideally with the windows on the race car rolled down. ♦♦♦ http://www.npr.org/
Artist Biography by Margaret Reges
♦♦♦ Chaz Bundick started making bedroom recordings under the name Toro y Moi in his native Columbia, South Carolina in 2001. Drawing from a wide–ranging array of influences (Animal Collective, Daft Punk, and J Dilla among them), Bundick had a couple albums' worth of material ready for release eight years later. He was slated to release two full–length albums on Carpark Records in 2010: one, a dreamy, indie electronic affair (something like a cross between Panda Bear and Beach House); the other, a jumpy, garage–influenced indie pop effort that was influenced by bands like Saturday Looks Good to Me and Guided by Voices. In the meantime, Carpark released Toro y Moi's debut 7" split single, Blessa/109, featuring one track from each of the forthcoming discs, in 2009. Only one album was actually issued in 2010, however, the dreamier Causers of This, which placed Toro y Moi right in the middle of the "chillwave" wave. By the time of his next album, early 2011's Underneath the Pine, Bundick had incorporated space age bachelor pad and disco influences into his sound, distancing himself from his chill contemporaries. He followed it up later in the year with an EP (Freaking Out) that was even more dancefloor–friendly. After moving to Berkeley, California in 2012, Bundick's music began to reflect his separation from loved ones, giving his next album a slightly more melancholy feel. Anything in Return was released in early 2013 on Carpark. His next move was to give himself over to dance music entirely, releasing the Michael album in 2014 under the name Les Sins. It was the first release on Bundick's new label, which he co–ran with Carpark. The next Toro y Moi album, 2015's What For?, featured contributions from Julian Lynch and Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson. ♦♦♦ http://www.allmusic.com/
Press: Carla Sacks |
Agent: Tom Windish |
By Christopher Monk | posted on 31 Mar 2015 | Score: ***½
By Jessica Goodman | Posted: 03/12/2015 8:20 am EDT
♦♦♦ Causers of This (2010)
♦♦♦ Underneath the Pine (2011)
♦♦♦ Anything in Return (2013)
♦♦♦ Michael (as Les Sins) (2014)
♦♦♦ What For? (2015)
♦♦♦ “Mr. Bundick’s music sizzled in a way his peers’ generally did not, and it had an emotional presence that was signature as well.” — The New York Times
♦♦♦ “[Chaz Bundick is] a prolific artist who never comes off like he’s in a race with his muse.” — Pitchfork
♦♦♦ “Though looped in with the woozy–pop ‘chillwave’ trendlet, Chaz Bundick has always had more cooking.” — Rolling Stone
|Toro y Moi — What For?|
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