Toro y Moi’s “What For?” full of good vibes

Singer, songwriter and producer Chazwick Bundick has released his fourth album under his stage name Toro Y Moi, his fifth album in five years, “What For?”

Toro Y Moi is known for his chill wave sound while also incorporating electronica trends. “What For?” however, has Bundick sounding more like Pink Floyd or Daft Punk on their latest album “Random Access Memories.” He’s at his grooviest on the tracks “Lilly” and “Buffalo,” which sound like they could have come from Floyd’s album “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The single “Empty Nesters” features more of the funky tunes featured throughout the album, but mostly in the second half of the track is about teenagers running away from their parents and responsibilities. The first half sounds like the kind of indie-pop you listen to on a road trip on a sunny day with your friends.

“Let’s try to make another year for the teens. I miss your bangs, can cut them for me. Smothered and covered by my high school dreams. Call mom and daddy cause the nest is empty,” Bundick croons on the song’s chorus.

“Spell it Out” continues the blend of indie-pop and funk with slick guitar licks that sound straight out of a Nile Rogers track, a guitar solo dragged through fuzzy distortion and more of the same groovy bass lines as before.

Although there’s plenty of funk blended with indie-pop, Bundick also shows that he can write borderline sludge rock on tracks like “Run Baby Run” and “Half Dome.” There’s almost a transition in the album from one genre into another. The first tracks sound like indie-funk by way of Pink Floyd, whereas the middle of the album sounds like a blend of indie-pop and funk. The tracks at the end flirt with the sludge rock/post-grunge scene with heavier distortion on the bass and guitars.

The main difference in “What For?” in comparison to Bundick’s other work is how it is almost anything but chill wave. There are songs here that would fit into the chill atmosphere, but more often than not, tracks end up sounding like the Beatles at the end of their run or Pink Floyd more than modern chill wave.

The album is shorter than his previous album, clocking in at 36 minutes, but “What For?” is an album full of breeze and good vibes that is among Toro Y Moi’s best work and shows that the songwriter-producer is more than capable of singing over conventional instruments without a synth.