Toro Y Moi is frequently labeled as chillwave, an indie sub-genre typically featuring laid-back electronica and smooth, dulcet vocals.
And sure enough, there’s not a hard edge to be found on Underneath the Pine, the sophomore album from 25 year-old Chazwick Bundick. The mood is retro, mellow, and a little funky, with Bundick’s easy-ridin’ vocals sitting atop silky synth lines and muted percussion. The problem is that, too often, the songs are just sorta shapeless.
“How I Know” and “Before I’m Done” are two examples of that: Both are filled with pretty, swirling vocals, but they’re in desperate need of hooks. When Bundick lets his hair down and adds some disco punch, as on “New Beat” and “Still Sound,” the effect is much more dynamic.
He clearly has the talent — he just needs to open up the playbook. Even if that means outgrowing his genre.
DOWNLOAD: “Still Sound”