Toro y Moi stays inside the box

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By Christine Saraceno
csaraceno@valenciavoice.com

“Chillwave” innovator Chaz Bundick, better known by his stage name Toro y Moi, has finally released his highly anticipated follow up to 2010’s Causers of This and he definitely delivers.

His new album, Underneath the Pine, takes listeners on a mellow journey with the help of his ethereal wail. All you need to do is put your headphones in, recline and enjoy the ride.

Songs like “How I Know” reinforce his knack for producing up-tempo pop grooves drenched in ’80s flavored synths. More intricate pieces are tracks like “Good Hold,” with its jarring piano or the stealthily seductive instrumental song “Divina.” Bundick lets listeners absorb every single note and doesn’t clutter the songs with unnecessary bells and whistles.

Overall, the stand out song of the album is clearly “Talamak.” Bundick’s hypnotic whisper framed by a dreamy kick drum beat makes you zone out and feeling like you’re taking a stroll through a crystal cave for two and a half minutes. It’s one you’ll want to listen to on repeat.

“I actually have the whole album on my iPod. I only got to listen to a couple of songs but they’re beautiful. I know I’m going to love the rest of it,” said Valencia student, Renee Guerny.
And indeed all listeners will love the rest of it.

Even if you’re not a fan of minimalist indie pop, giving Toro y Moi a chance would be in your best interest. While low key hipster tunes can sometimes be obnoxious to the senses in just how plain it is, Bundick finds a way to combine simplicity with interesting.

It’s hard to imagine how he’ll find a way to top his first two releases, but it will be exciting to see and his fans will be waiting anxiously in the meantime.