As with many late noughties blog-approved subgenres (witch house, anyone?), chillwave burned brightly, but its influence seems scant now. Chaz Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi, is a rare exception, armed from the start with a kaleidoscopic palette of influences and a savvy ear. Bundick recorded ‘Boo Boo’ while “becoming self-conscious about my position in life as a ‘famous’ person,” and seeking comfort in ambient sounds. ‘Boo Boo’ makes these influences – musical and personal – brutally clear: “My baby got fed up with my ego / Wasn’t even wishin’ to be known worldwide,” runs the chorus of ‘No Show’.
Its highlight may be ‘Don’t Try’ – an almost post-punk wasteland underpinned by throbbing one-note bass and primitive drum machines – but ‘Boo Boo’ is no pity party. The album boasts some of Bundick’s strongest melodies to date, with shades of Prince and Talking Heads – ‘Labyrinth’ could be the glum cousin of ‘This Must Be The Place’ – amongst his trademark hazy atmospheric pop. “I’m just trying to paint my picture best I can,” Bundick insists on ‘Windows’. ‘Boo Boo’ just might be his masterpiece.
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