Truth be told, I haven’t always appreciated Toro y Moi for who he is to me now (that sounded a bit off but let’s go with it). When hazy electronic grooves — chillwave or glo-fi, essentially — and bedroom producers were first striking the Internet airwaves, I was extremely non-committal. Traditional instrumentals was one thing but part of me was resistant to the idea of taking lo-fi digital equipment or looped vocals so seriously. Hadn’t this been done in the 70s? Were the Beach Boys not good enough? How is any of this “new music”? That and the rapid growth of borderline tacky band names (Com Truise, Dananananakroyd, Dale Earnhardt. Jr. Jr., Your Favorite Celebrity Plus Some Crazy Outlandish Noun Attached To It, etc.) had the old soul in me groaning a bit.
But oh isn’t it funny how things change.
In retrospect, Toro y Moi, was one of the first proprietors of the new chillwave genre, now that it has exploded into a googleplex and one subgenres. He also safely remains one of the most original. Sure, this music has been around before, in difference iterations and time periods. But right now in 2012, this is what electronic, lo-fi music sounds like. Toro y Moi, along with so many others, are trying to embody what chillwave or glo-fi — or music in general, dammit — sounds like to the 21st century audience listener. And can I really blame him if so many people like it?
I’m usually a sucker to my own pre-conceived notions of anything. Which, of course, means guess who is readying herself for the drop of Anything In Return? Yours truly, of course. Of couuuurse.
I’ll always think of “Low Shoulder” as the one that turned me on to Toro y Moi for good. The lyrics are so sweet and I usually cannot resist anything that was recorded live at the Daytrotter Studios. So consider this my white flag, Chazmataz. I wouldn’t want you in the shoulder either.