Toro Y Moi: Top 40 chillwave

Toro Y Moi gets colorful with his new album. (Credit: Andrew Paynter)
Toro Y Moi plays Union Transfer in Philly on Monday, Feb. 11, at Webster Hall in NYC on Feb. 13, at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Feb. 14 and at The Paradise in Boston on Feb. 15.
(Credit: Andrew Paynter)

Soft-spoken Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) has kept his bearings since his hazy, synth-driven bedroom-breakout “Causers of This” put him on the map in 2010. While his splash put him into the chillwave scene that also included other newbies like Washed Out and Neon Indian, inspirational (and operational) changes came soon for the South Carolina native. His 2011 follow-up “Underneath the Pine” saw him incorporate more live instruments and a band into his idiosyncratic laptop creations, spanning genres as wide as R&B, hip-hop, indie rock and ‘60s pop.

“Anything in Return” continues the evolution of Toro Y Moi’s sound by adding in deep disc-digging doses of down-tempo R&B, ambient hip-hip, underground disco and ’90s diva house to the mix. At times it mirrors the retro lo-fi charm of its predecessors, but predominately it is the most polished, well-produced and eccentric work in his brief catalog.

“I was really trying to mess around with that Top 40 sound to see if I could come close to what they do, even just as an experiment,” says Bundick, who plays all the music and sings vocals on his records. “As long as I can keep my head on, it’s OK.”

“Anything In Return” plays out like a heavily textured, almost claustrophobic house mix of Bundick’s current favorite sounds. Where some tracks such as “Harm in Change” keep the layers heavy, others such as “Touch” bring it down to just a few mellow tones and the cricket-like chirp of a drum machine. Lost mostly in the mix is Bundick’s own voice, which quietly coexists with the soulful samples (mostly ultra-short clips of female singers) that he drops on numerous tracks. “She knows I work hard,” he sings on “Cake”— alluding to what he calls the album’s central theme: being away from loved ones for the first time. “Anything” might not be Toro Y Moi’s most accessible work, but fans seeking new explorations won’t be disappointed.

At times, the multiple layers of keys and percussion make Toro Y Moi’s music hard to pull off live — so much so that Bundick jokes about sounding “like a cover band” of his own music. But he says trying to use a broad spectrum of instruments live and especially in the studio is something he wouldn’t turn back on.

“When I listen to ‘Causers of This,’ all I hear is laptops. God, I wish those were real keys. But that’s in the past and not really worth regretting.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.