Toro y Moi
; Causers of This
Glacial drift, madrigal ambience and tonal synth-based clouds that stretch for miles: This is "glo-fi." Of late, it's a genre tag that's been used to group bands and artists who pursue a compositional aesthetic of billowy, loose-strung composition that threatens to lapse into a warm drowsiness. Ducktails, Neon Indian and other glo-fi practitioners celebrate an abstract sort of nostalgia, sailing through wordless, nonspecific vistas of longing that suggest no-holds-barred drone fugues with heaps of added sweeteners.
It would have been easy for Chaz Bundick – the South Carolina–based 20-something who records as Toro y Moi – to tread a similar path; indeed, narcotic keyboard puddles lie at the core of his music. But on his debut album Causers of This, Bundick shapes this base matter into pop proper, stapling in beats, hooks, breaks, samples and leashless vocals that root the songs in personal themes – the embarrassment of forgetting the color of a significant other's eyes, self-doubt that maintains the universality of the genre pool he's got one foot in.
"Fax Shadow" slowly drowns in a hazy maze of awestruck, multiplied Bundick voices. Reminiscent of the work of Japanese innovator Cornelius, "Lissoms" flounces forward as a fantasia of bright samples. The headband halcyon bounce of "Low Shoulder" and the glistening string hiccups of "Blessa" are no less otherworldly. Whether or not we truly can consider Bundick the Max Tundra of glo-fi – albeit lighter on the snark – will depend on how long it takes him to re-up.;;; [email protected]