Artist Spotlight: Toro Y Moi

Despite his chillwave beginnings on 2010’s Causers of This, Chazwick Bundick (better known as Toro Y Moi) is anything but mellow these days.


Toro Y Moi is the type of artist who strives to grow personally and sonically on each release with the addition of new musicians, samples, and influences. His most recent album is the eclectic Anything In Return, a lengthy, sprawling collection of pop songs that borrow elements of funk, electro and 90s R&B to prove that sexiness and glitchiness aren’t mutually exclusive. Does Thom Yorke ever go to a roller rink? Probably not. But if he did, this is what would soundtrack that glorious scene.

Even more impressive than Bundwick’s studio wizardry is how well the songs translate live with a full band . A Toro y Moi set features little to no pre-recorded tracks and lengthy instrumental workouts to keep each and every body in the crowd moving. Breaks between songs are few and far between and there isn’t much banter, but it never feels impersonal. While onstage, the band wants to let the music do the talking, and it speak volumes

Music made on computers still sounds cold and distant sometimes, and the alternative scene has always had a bit of an irony problem. With Anything In Return, Bundwick wanted to buck that trend. He told Interview, “I’m trying to make sincere pop music that’s not all processed and bubblegum.” The fact that he feels at home behind a synth and laptop won’t stop him for going out and buying acoustic instruments to get more out of his songwriting, which he has recently done. It’s exciting when you realize that not even the artist himself knows where he’s headed next.

Listen to Toro Y Moi’s Anything In Return and you won’t be able miss their early evening set at LouFest, where they’ll follow up Fitz & The Tantrums’ retro soul with a more futuristic take on the genre. In the meantime, check out his recent cover of Ricky Gervais’ “Slough”