10 Songs, 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Toro y Moi’s Underneath the Pine was one of 2011's best albums: its combination of ethereal ambience, cool-toned funk, and pop melodicism hit the sweet spot. (Toro y Moi is the moniker of South Carolinian Chaz Bundick.) June 2009, released a year after Underneath the Pine, is a collection of the singer/songwriter's early efforts. One standout, “Take the L to Leave,” recalls Ariel Pink, and at various points (including the excellent “Ektelon”) lo-fi granddaddies Pavement come to mind. The brief, dreamy opening of “Dead Pontoon” is pure Toro y Moi; it has the distinctive hazy sound that Bundick later developed into fully formed pop songs. “Talamak,” which is on 2010’s Causers of This, is here in a less streamlined version. “Warm Frames” surrounds listeners with a cloud of layered vocals and gentle, reverberant guitar strumming. The closer, “New Loved Ones,” is what Bundick sounds like when things get stripped down to a song, a voice, and an acoustic guitar.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Toro y Moi’s Underneath the Pine was one of 2011's best albums: its combination of ethereal ambience, cool-toned funk, and pop melodicism hit the sweet spot. (Toro y Moi is the moniker of South Carolinian Chaz Bundick.) June 2009, released a year after Underneath the Pine, is a collection of the singer/songwriter's early efforts. One standout, “Take the L to Leave,” recalls Ariel Pink, and at various points (including the excellent “Ektelon”) lo-fi granddaddies Pavement come to mind. The brief, dreamy opening of “Dead Pontoon” is pure Toro y Moi; it has the distinctive hazy sound that Bundick later developed into fully formed pop songs. “Talamak,” which is on 2010’s Causers of This, is here in a less streamlined version. “Warm Frames” surrounds listeners with a cloud of layered vocals and gentle, reverberant guitar strumming. The closer, “New Loved Ones,” is what Bundick sounds like when things get stripped down to a song, a voice, and an acoustic guitar.

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About Toro y Moi

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 Bundick moved to Berkeley, California in 2012, his 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, while also being the project's most straightforward collection of guitar-heavy pop songs to date. Bundick took an expanded live band out on the road, fiming/recording one of the concerts, then releasing it as Live from Trona in 2016. He also hooked up with the jazz-prog duo the Mattson 2 to record the Star Stuff album, which Company issued in late 2016.

By the time that album hit the shelves, Bundick had begun recording the next Toro y Moi album. It was a time of soul-searching on both personal and musical levels, leading Bundick to change his name to Chaz Bear and shift musical gears back to his trademark ambient R&B chillwave sound. Taking inspiration from artists like Frank Ocean and Oneohtrix Point Never, Boo Boo introduced more chill and space into the mix. It featured Bear playing most of the instruments, apart from contributions from live keyboardist Anthony Ferraro and vocalist Madeline Kenney, and was released by Carpark in July of 2017. ~ Margaret Reges

BORN
November 7, 1986

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