Bundick's latest album as Toro Y Moi, Underneath the Pine, simultaneously makes good on all the promise of Causers while further distancing him from its sound. Bundick largely dispenses with Causers' foggy-headed sampledelia ("Intro Chi Chi" is a fake-out) to foreground more traditional--though still soft-focus and '80s-leaning--live instrumentation. Lead single "New Beat" is the best example, a deeply catchy pop breeze bubbling with popping slap bass and floating on a bed of synthesizer funk.
Unfortunately, there was a regrettable typo in the print edition of the story: Toro frontman Chaz Bundick's last name was spelled "Budnick"--like this guy. It's a mistake that has brought back haunting memories of the many years I spent accidentally switching the middle consonants in the last name of Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel into their more common form, Magnum--a habit I've only recently shook. This is the kind of shit that keeps a music writer up at night. So, apologies, BUNDICK, but think of it this way: If you disappear for 10 years, become a cult indie icon, and then triumphantly return (aka "pulling a Mangum"), I will SO be ready for you by then.