Toro Y Moi – What For?

toroRating: ★★★☆☆

Over the past five years, we’ve seen many stages of Toro Y Moi as expressed through Chaz Bundick’s prolific musical career. He’s had ups and downs through this journey of soulful indie and synth pop. What For? makes for his fourth LP under this moniker, and its one filled with a mix of tracks to delight in their pop grooves.

Opening track, “What You Want,” is a good expression of what the album as a whole holds for you in that the song blends a few genres while holding onto that distinctively groovy Toro Y Moi sound. Its got licks of cutting high and low electric guitar, streaming synths that fill in the gaps. You also get Bundick playing around a bit vocally, with some exclamatory yips and yalps. While I like this song as an opening track, as it eases you into the music, I am far more interested in the second track “Buffalo,” which sounds like a mix of a 70’s disco track mixed with the indie pop of today. Lyrically, this song plays around even more than the first one, running with the disco-vibe, and Bundick spits out couplets super quickly: “And you see the buffalo/just another one in the road.” The track also utilizes start and stop to create some drama, and just that easily you’re hooked.

The singles that we’ve already been graced with hearing make up the majority of the standout tracks on the album. Take “Empty Nesters,” as an example of pretty straightforward indie pop track, but a good one nonetheless. Later on there’s the positively groovy “Spell It Out,” which has got to be one of my favorites, if not my favorite track from this album because it grips you and holds you for its duration. The guitars on here are funky and psychedelic, swirling around the song with ease, almost giving you a bit of an Ariel Pink feel to it. Building on itself, the song really goes for that disco-pysch rock feel to it, blossoming into something you can surely get your feet dancing to.

The problem with What For? is that the good tracks really shine above the rest of the album. You’ll find yourself skipping airy tracks to get to those meaty grooves on which Bundick shines. When the album is good, it’s really good, but when you’re not in those solid tracks you can easily lose focus on the music at hand. In the future, the challenge for Toro Y Moi is to create a more cohesive work, but for now I’m okay with skipping some tracks now and then.

 

 

More Toro Y Moi? Yes, Please

28388_422877407501_1855604_nBack in January (Wow…is it really almost April?) I shared with you “Empty Nesters” from Toro Y Moi, and told you about his forthcoming album What For? that’s due out April 7th. Now that we’re a whole lot closer to that release, I’m delighted to share with you another single from Chaz Bundick called “Run Baby Run,” which is a slow, albeit still mad groovy tune that showcases the easy psychedelic and jangly rock that we’ve come to love from Toro Y Moi. I’m pretty stoked to hear the rest of the new album from Carpark Records, what about you?

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New Track From Toro y Moi

1622061_10152296031457502_57870544_n What is there to say about Toro Y Moi? The man behind the band, Chazwick Bundick has been making indie soul for a little while now, and has put out some pretty decent records. Now he’s back with the song below, “Empty Nesters.” This is the first single from his new record, What For? that is set to come out April 7th on Carpark Records. It’s got a good funky psychedelic pop vibe to it, complete with plenty of synths raging through the whole thing as well as Bundick’s faded vocals. Take a listen.

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Another Rocker from GRMLN

gremlinsGRMLN continue to grace these pages with their impressive tunes. They jump right in with distorted guitars and a rolling drum beat, pushing forth with speed into a power-pop realm, punked up.  If the whole new album sounds like this, it’s likely to gain lots of tractions.  The songs we’ve been presented, along with this one, have a catchy sensation, though the guitars help those who are looking to keep it real on their toes.  This isn’t your emo brother’s GRMLN; they’re hear to rock a little bit harder. Look for Soon Away on September 16th  via the folks over at Carpark Records.

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Summer Pop from Saint Pepsi

saintsSeems like Saint Pepsi is gearing up to finish off your summer strong, offering up another great pop tune off his new 7″.  This jam trickles in a bit slowly, but then it spins into an upbeat number that deserves some time in your poolside playlist.  There’s a simplicity to this tune, bringing the hook immediately to your ears, rather than making you wait for it; it’s evident throughout the whole track.  You can grab this track at your local record store; it’s the B-side to the Fiona Coyne 7″ that is being released by Carpark Records today!

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GRMLN Announces New LP

grmlWith the last GRMLN album you could turn it up, get caught in the huge riffs and the rest faded away.  It’s a sound that plenty of people employ nowadays, but I’ve really been gravitating towards this guy’s sound.  There’s a bit of Weasel residue in the writing style, which isn’t bad in my opinion, but all indicators point towards a darker subject matter on Soon Away.  It’s a a great sound that resonates with young and old alike, so prepare yourself to enjoy another album from the band; it’s being released by Carpark Records on September 16th.

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Feel Good with Saint Pepsi

saintpepsiFriday’s are for feeling good, forgetting the week behind you, and just having fun with your family and friends.  I’m pretty sure this single from Saint Pepsi will do precisely the trick; it’s like a more dance floor-ready version of Twin Shadow, with those sharp guitar cuts and infectious beats kicking things along.  This track is the featured tune on his Fiona Coyne 7″, which is being released via Carpark Records on August 12th.  If you’re in need of something to pick the day up, then turn the volume loud and spin this song a few times…your day will get better in no time.

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Cloud Nothings Continue to Thrill

Cloud-Nothings-850x566While I thought the first single from the upcoming Cloud Nothings illustrated some vocal restraint, it’s clear that I was far off, as Dylan Baldi’s not afraid to unleash on this new tune. Sure, the song begins with a slow build-up, but even then you can hear that familiar rasp in Baldi’s voice.  At the 44 second mark, the song takes off, leading up to Dylan’s forceful howl coming through. My favorite part comes near the end of the track where the band lets go furiously, as they’ve been known to do in their live shows.  And, as always, Jason’s drumming is just RIDICULOUS.  Here and Nowhere Else, the new record, will be out on April 1st via Carpark Records.

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New Jamz From Speedy Ortiz

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Who knows what it is with me and rock music accompanied by driving female vocals.  It’s been documented multiple times on the site so I’ll save you the re-hash of my love for the genre and get to the point of sharing with you this new tune by Speedy Ortiz called “American Horror”.  It’s a straightforward rock number with the aforementioned sweet lady vocals giving us something to hang on to throughout.  Dig it.

Check out new EP, Real Hair, on February 11th via Carpark Records.

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GRMLN – Empire

adventureWeird_LP_11183_newRating: ★★★★☆

Some records are perfectly fitting for the time of their release, leaving you with an album for that particular season.  For me, the first full-length from GRMLN is definitely going to be one of my most played this summer.  Empire has the energy, the hooks and enough variance to keep it in constant rotation.

It’s fitting that Empire opens with “Teenage Rhythm” as this track most likely resembles the youthful exuberance of most teens, at least in the overall mood. Guitars start chugging while the drums immediately come in pummeling your ears, all building up to the adolescent shout of “get out get out” in the chorus.  It’s a track that makes it difficult to turn your ear the other way.  It leaves plenty of room for the following number to jump in with a bubbling undercurrent of bass lines.  “Blue Lagoon” has more of a ringing guitar sound, and it’s here where I first noticed how easy it is to sing along to the lyrics.  Who doesn’t love to bob your head and sing?

GRMLN, which is the primary work of Yoodoo Park, makes it difficult to skip a single track, even when writing a review.  “Hand Pistol” seems to blend the cocky swagger of Waaves with the hooks of Surfer Blood, though sounding entirely like it has its own personality.  You’ll hear a clean guitar cutting through the background, while a heavier guitar plays up front.  Then the attitude is switched up for a more indie pop appeal with “Coastal Love,” which has a slight effect on the vocals.  It’s a cleaner bent, which offers a bit of a breather from where Empire was dwelling for the last few tracks.

Now, I don’t want to sit here and tell you these are the greatest songs that man has ever written, but damn it if you’re not just going to have fun listening to this release.  “Do You Know How It Feels” has a great vocal throughout, and the energetic delivery of the guitars had me hooked instantly.  Then you skip ahead a few tracks to bob along to “1993,” which might just be the my favorite track on the album. It’s youthful, yet the musicianship is perfectly executed at every turn, displaying the blossoming skills of Park right before our eyes.

You can listen to this record, and almost immediately fall in love with it.  The songs throughout are fairly simple, yet they’re structured around hooks and melodies that grab hold of your eardrums, never letting go.  GRMLN has constructed the perfect seasonal listen, which due to current temperatures, is absolutely perfect.  Empire is fun, it’s catchy, and it’s something that might endure beyond the summer, keeping us warm all year long.

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Download: GRMLN – Do You Know How It Feels_ [MP3]

 

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