Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Toro y Moi - Freaking Out

Toro Y Moi at Mercury Lounge, from the HAD Archive

HAD faves Toro y Moi are continuing their upward trajectory this fall.  Over the past few months they've been on the road playing progressively bigger venues than ever before.  What's more, the band dropped a new EP last week (cover below) entitled Freaking Out.

The record, which consists of 5 tracks clocking in at just under 20 minutes, largely follows the poppier inclinations of the band's last full length Underneath The Pine.  Amidst boatloads of analog synths, Chaz Bundick delivers the sounds that are getting him so much press (and popularity) as a purveyor of the retro-come-modern fodder for the often-fickle dance scene.

However, the tracks that show the greatest are those that tip their hat to the band's earlier, dreamier work.  The band's first record, Causers Of This, is a semi-ambient groove masterpiece, and while it's certainly fun to hear the band drift to the dance world, they'd be smart not to forget their roots.  Unquestionably, the strongest songs on Freaking Out are "Sweet" and "I Can Get Love", both of which take the band's dancier vibe, and filter it through their earlier, more abstracted work.

There's no question that Toro y Moi is continuing to expand their fanbase and their sound.  What remains to be seen if they can do both at the same time.  Chaz Bundick is obviously something of a musical mastermind, and it would be a shame if his talent got watered down to dance grooves alone.  That being said, it's also undeniable that the new grooves the band has discovered are contributing to their growth and sound.  

Perhaps the best place to discover the answer is in the live environ, where they have always more than held their own.  The band continues to be on a near-constant touring schedule, and no doubt this environment offers a boatload of inspiration and rumination for Bundick to bring back to the studio for his next bout with genius.

Toro y Moi Remaining Fall 2011 Dates
09-20 Bloomington, IN - The Bishop
09-22 Champaign, IL - Pygmalion Music Festival
09-23 Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Music Festival
09-25 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
09-29 Vancouver, British Columbia - Venue
09-30 Portland, OR - Star Theater
10-03 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater
10-06 El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace
10-07 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
10-08 Austin, TX - Mohawk
10-09 Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's
10-10 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jack's
10-11 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
10-13 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
10-14 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
10-28 Asheville, NC - Moogfest
11-05 Sao Paulo, BR - Planeta Terra Festival