Toro Y Moi | Causers of This
Most Likely To: justify the purchase of a better pair of headphones.
There is nothing bullish about Toro y Moi, the moniker used by Chaz Bundick on his debut full-length Causers of This. Bundick borrows R&B’s come-hither swagger which he mixes with a large hit of electronica to create music whose many parts are easy to recognize, but whose finished product defies easy classification.
Causers of This kicks off with “Blessa,” a song not unlike what Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes might have written if he’d ever tried to pen a lullaby through a diazepam haze. Bundick manages to take relatively complex levels of atmospherics and make them sound subtle and delicate (“Minors”). He has a knack adding just enough rhythmic discontinuity to his songs, so even though they border on the danceable they never slip into a predictable wormhole that renders them forgettable (“Talamak,” “Freak Love”). He skillfully dovetails synthesized bass and horns into a groovy piano line that serves as the ideal backdrop for his bedroom falsetto on “Imprint After.”
Many, many records bury their less accessible tracks near the end of the record as if we listeners won’t notice that, suddenly, one of the songs is inexplicably eight minutes long. Bundick does just the opposite, ending his record with two upbeat, hooky numbers. The album’s most accessible track, “Low Shoulders,” feels loose, like he was having a little fun in the studio. It’s followed by the title track, a piece of top-notch twenty-first century disco that deserves fame and praise.
Above all, Bundick creates intimacy on Causers of This, a feat made that much more remarkable by his uses of quirky samples, chopped up vocal loops, and scuffed up beats. At first listeners may find Bundick’s approach perplexing, but with its sybaritic rhythms that are free of the clichés that plague often plague pop music, Causers of This rewards repeated careful listens.
Watch the video for “Blessa” below: