Album Review: Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine

With the release of his second full-length album, Underneath the Pine, it seems Chazwick Bundick, better known as Toro Y Moi, has figured it all out. While it maintains the dreamy ambience featured in Bundick’s debut, Causers of This, his sophomore release adds layers of live instrumentation to give this record a more complex and organic sound.

Considered as one of the pioneers of the Chillwave movement that reached its height this past summer, Toro Y Moi is an innovative musician that isn’t about following trends. So with Underneath the Pine, Bundick turns up the dance vibes and veers away from producing another soundtrack for doing nothing. The album opens with “Chi Chi,” a noisy whirlwind that spirals listeners into Bundick’s musical experiment. Next comes the single, “New Beat” which is just fabulously funky. Blending Bundick’s angelic pipes with 80’s pop, electronic undertones, and some background shakers, you can’t help but groove to this track.

“Divina’s” mellow instrumentals slow the energy down a bit. Its atmospheric rhythms make you want to peacefully fade into oblivion, creating the ideal chill-out number of the bunch. The blissful calm is continued in the next track “Before I’m Done,” which sounds like something off an Air album yet with Toro Y Moi’s individual spin.

“Still Sound,” the album’s second single and my personal favorite, compiles funky keyboards, irresistible baselines, and electronic riffs, giving it elements of old-school disco while still maintaining Toro Y Moi’s signature futuristic touch. The last track “Elise” brings out the jazzy rhythms that linger in the background throughout the record. Culminating with a final addictive “oooh aahh,” Bundick’s sophomore release leaves its audience hooked, yet totally in the dark as to what’s in store for the future. With a follow-up presentation like Underneath the Pine, its clear that Toro Y Moi is a dynamic artist that is here to stay.

– Lucy White

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