Austin’s favorite left of center festival Psych Fest is making a come back this year and will return to its original, single location style event at The Far Out Lounge April 28th-30th. After the excitement of the initial festival announcement, we are happy to share the full lineup drop with you all today. The days are packed with heavy hitters and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of reason to spend your days and nights at The Far Out in April. Tickets for the weekend and individual days are also on sale now!
I feel like you all should already be familiar with Toro Y Moi, but on the off chance that you aren’t, or perhaps forgot that this gentleman will be gracing our presence shortly at Fun Fun Fun Fest, I thought I would remind you just what we have to look forward to. Toro Y Moi, or Chaz Bundick, has carved out a name for himself over the past five years with his groovy pop tunes with heavy psych influences. His music will be perfect for the festival setting– light enough to dance to in the sunshine, but grounded enough to hold your attention. Listen to “Buffalo” below off of his most recent release, What For? and be sure to check out the swirling and quirky psych pop from Toro Y Moi at 4:45 Friday on the Orange Stage, or a DJ set from the gentleman (Les Sins) over at Vulcan Gas Company at 11:45 Friday night.
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.
Back 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?
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.
I hadn’t really heard of J Fernandez or his previous EPs, but now that I’ve been subject to his latest single, I think I’ve got some work to do. There’s something in his writing that reminds me of this weird blend of Dent May and Toro y Moi, yet it sounds wholly original. You’ll hear these quiet little vocal touches working against the main vocal fold, and that’s what really sold me; it’s like listening to an insider secret on what’s going on. We’ll hear more from J on October 14th when his latest EP, Memorize Now, gets a worldwide release.
I will summarize the review here, so this is goodbye.
I am pretty sure I first saw Toro Y Moi at SxSW three years ago during a day party inside at The Mohawk, delighted by the hazy electronic goodness. The next time was his opening shot for Caribou at Emo’s outside. That was a stellar show. Next go was outside at The Mohawk as a headliner, a show we were very meh about. This is it for me; the big house at Emo’s, weird vibes from a sold out crowd, cell phones galore (including in the photo pit), bros yelling song names.
If you hit up the Toro y Moi show earlier this month, then hopefully you got there earlier enough to catch Bass Drum of Death. We’ve raved about the band for some time, and their live show was simply fantastic, as we’ve come to expect from the band. They’re heading overseas to support their recent album GB City, but not before dropping a new rocker on us. It’s a steady groove, with a catchy closing chorus, and a bit of grit–these are all good things. So, if you haven’t gotten into these guys now; you’ve got a bit of time to make it up to yourself.
What? You don’t like ridiculously sold out shows with great tunes? Well, that’s unfortunate, as that means you probably missed the mostly excellent show at Mohawk this last weekend. Read a bit more for my thoughts and some great pics. Read more
I’ve already caught one amazing show over at the Mohawk this week, but even that might not compare to the gloriousness that will be this Toro y Moi show. Chaz has been putting out effortless pop tunes for some time, and lately he’s been playing with a full-on band, which always entertains. As if that wasn’t enough to get you there, new indie darlings Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be bringing their quirky pop jams to the stage just before, getting you a chance to see one of the new “best” bands around. Oh, and did I mention that my favorites, Bass Drum of Death, are going to kick the whole night off? Well, you gotta be there; there’s not another option.