11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Underneath the Pine is the excellent sophomore full-length from Toro y Moi — a.k.a. Chaz Bundick. The album evokes Stereolab, Robert Wyatt, and Ariel Pink, and it also incorporates subtle hip-hop and R&B touches. But Underneath the Pine has its own of-the-moment sound. It opens with “Intro / Chi Chi,” a track with a head-nodding groove, blissful distortion, and wordless vocals; it serves as a good example of Bundick’s way with pleasing timbres and entrancing riffs. Springy synth and rhythm guitar pull the listener in on “New Beat,” and it’s clear that despite his taste for hazy atmosphere, Bundick can create a pleasurable earworm, too. On “Before I’m Done,” mellow acoustic guitar picking is set against a backdrop of mellotron-ish tones and jazzy drums, before the track slips into a cloud of pulsing keyboard and softly intoned vocals. (It could almost pass for a lost King Crimson or Giles, Giles & Fripp track.) “Still Sound,” with its irresistible bass line, effective keyboards, and lovely vocal harmonies, might be the best song here. Its combination of the propulsive and the spacey is wonderful, and very Toro y Moi.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Underneath the Pine is the excellent sophomore full-length from Toro y Moi — a.k.a. Chaz Bundick. The album evokes Stereolab, Robert Wyatt, and Ariel Pink, and it also incorporates subtle hip-hop and R&B touches. But Underneath the Pine has its own of-the-moment sound. It opens with “Intro / Chi Chi,” a track with a head-nodding groove, blissful distortion, and wordless vocals; it serves as a good example of Bundick’s way with pleasing timbres and entrancing riffs. Springy synth and rhythm guitar pull the listener in on “New Beat,” and it’s clear that despite his taste for hazy atmosphere, Bundick can create a pleasurable earworm, too. On “Before I’m Done,” mellow acoustic guitar picking is set against a backdrop of mellotron-ish tones and jazzy drums, before the track slips into a cloud of pulsing keyboard and softly intoned vocals. (It could almost pass for a lost King Crimson or Giles, Giles & Fripp track.) “Still Sound,” with its irresistible bass line, effective keyboards, and lovely vocal harmonies, might be the best song here. Its combination of the propulsive and the spacey is wonderful, and very Toro y Moi.

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