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Chillwave as a genre and an ideal conjures up summertime imagery by its very nature. But something about Toro Y Moi, the project of South Carolina’s Chazwick Bundick, feels otherworldly—transcendent. With Underneath The Pine, his sophomore venture, he doesn’t just send listeners to the beach to watch the tides change; he puts them in a hot air balloon to cross international borders and just admire the landscapes.
The undeniable “Still Sound” combines the jive of funk basslines with elements of disco and the soft call of Bundick’s vocals. “New Beat” gives a kick in the pants instantly and barely relents for the duration. Fittingly, “Got Blinded” works supremely well with eyelids shut, allowing the background echoes to envelop and flock until the melody has to cut through with vigor.
And that’s the very thing about this album: the melody. Alone, the backbeats and harmonies would work well enough, but it’s Bundick’s sense of melody that separates Underneath The Pine—and Toro Y Moi in general—from the rest of chillwave.
Listen to "Still Sound":