Toro y Moi has mellowed out since he started his career in 2009. The album “Anything in Return” is an electronic melodic calamity of synthesizers and drum kits. The third LP from singer and producer Chazwick Bundick, one of the founding fathers of the 80s-orientated chillwave genre, forces listeners to mentally transport themselves to the days when cassette tapes were preferred and colorful knee-high socks were adored.
The album focuses on a failed romance in transition and all the gushy retrospects that come along with the territory. But Bundick leaves it void of unnecessary emotional rants and takes on a mature, laissez-faire approach.
Toro y Moi’s previous two albums, 2010’s “Causers of This” and 2011’s “Underneath the Pine,” were dependant on heavy glo-fi, another electronic subgenre, and psychedelic samples. However, “Anything in Return” is a cohesive mix that is riddled with sentimental lyrics.
The lead track, “Say That,” is reminiscent of the swingbeat era that occurred in the early 90s. The low-fi effects mesh seamlessly with the upbeat tempo of the piano that laces through the song.
“High Living” features subtle undertones provided by a rhythmic bass section during the intro, similar to Los Angeles-based band Fitz and the Tantrums. On top of the inclusion of string instruments, it is very groovy and low key. This track is somewhat of a boy anthem about wining and dining somebody special. Subsequently, it has the ability to make someone feel like an honorary member of the 1960s actor group the Rat Pack.
Another notable track is “So Many Details,” which was released two months ago as a single. The song encompasses scenarios of wanting to be with someone while the feeling isn’t reciprocated. With lyrics such as “You send my life/Into somewhere /I can’t describe/So many details,” puts emphasis on Bundick’s reluctance to see the relationship fall apart.
“Anything in Return” is a well-thought album that fits together. “Say That,” “High Living” and “So Many Details” may be the three standout tracks, but the other songs are great for living room chilling. This album is a quality listen for any night, whether you go club hopping or embark on a long road trip.
Check out Toro y Moi’s video for “So Many Details“.
Released: Jan. 22, 2013
Record Company: Carpark Records
Rating: 4/5 stars