OK, let’s get something straight right off the bat here — “chillwave” and “glo-fi” are by far two of the silliest genre names to describe music since “wonky” and “illbient” and “freak folk” and “balearic” and “glitchcore” and “microhouse” and shit, even “post rock” for that matter. Music writers seem to love to dole out new and even more ridiculously obscure monikers to muzik these days and I find it funny, cause it’s all rock and roll to me. Haha.
Yet, regardless of my own personal annoyance towards musical categorization, Chaz Bundick’s debut as Toro Y Moi, Causers of This, is an album that has steadily grown on me. And as sunny days begin to outnumber bleak ones, I’m digging it more and more — so much so that I feel compelled to write about it, even though it’s already been blogged about to hipsterville and back again.
Somehow, I managed to get a hold of Causers of This way early, in the fall of last year, and I liked it for its production value, yet found it lacking overall. As buzz built around its release date in February, I started listening to it again, while making dinner and commuting to work, and it was on one of those first nice spring days — where the sun was shining at the perfect angle, and the city was finally shaking off its winter blahhhs — that I fell in love with it. I was on the streetcar, and the track “Thanks Vision” came on, and I suddenly felt this surge of happiness, and I started smiling, and stupidly bobbing my head, and chuckling at Bundick’s non-sensical lyrics. “Turn those fans away from me, they only dry my eyes out / ever since I was born I couldn’t see / ever since I could see, I couldn’t find why you close your lips so tight / when I try to kiss you off goodbye.” The lyrics are actually slightly retarded throughout, yet delivered with an earnestness I find endearing.
Take the refrain from “Talamak” as an example:
Do you like it when you leave your house?
Do you like it when you’re in a town?
That you love
Like one I live in
Ridiculously childish when read outside of the song, but Bundick seems much more a producer than the next Stephen Malkmus, and that’s fine with me, because overall I enjoy the “lo-fi” feel to the album (yes, I am willing to use lo-fi, but not glo-fi, OK?). The tape loop hiss, the cheap homemade beats, familiar samples, and his voice (not for the actual lyrics but for they way he uses his voice as added layers of sound) are all quite enjoyable. Causers of This has become my bike ride album of choice as of late, and is a fun debut by a young up and coming rock star from South Carolina.
Check it out under a tree in the park with a bottle of wine and a book on a Tuesday afternoon. Peace.