WITR REVIEW: Chaz Bundick and WITR go way back. We made a home for Toro Y Moi several years ago with 'Causers of This' and, together, we've gone through many evolutions and permutations of sound and character. 'What For?' (out April 07) occupies an immensely satisfying gap between the hip hop and funk influences of Anything In Return and the bedroom pop sensation vibes found on early tracks like 2009's "Girl Problems". This may be his finest work yet.
WITR REVIEW: Alex Giannascoli is a pop prodigy. 'Trick' was first released via Bandcamp back in 2012, when Alex was still a teenager and in the middle of his transition to college life. Now an English major at Temple, he gained some acclaim with 2014's 'DSU' which is shedding new light on his prior work. He deserves it. As a composer, he boasts complex yet instantly catchy melodies that rival Modest Mouse and the Silver Jews. His lyrics offer a sort of intimidating sincerity to match Yoni Wolf or Stephin Merritt. His aesthetic is pure bedroom pop. Fans of bands like Carissa's Wierd will be entirely at home in the hushed vocals and audible tape hiss on many of these tracks. Most of the songs are in the sub three minute range, but none of the thoughts Alex expresses feel half baked. Every track is its own idiosyncratic statement. This album is one of the richest embodiments of growing up that we've ever heard.
WITR REVIEW: Shimmering guitar licks wash over a militant chord progression and staccato drums. After a few moments, the wave crashes into a 90 second diatribe against a person, an idea, or something more abstract. We will never know because the song ends as deliberately as it begins. And that's just fine, because Chandos isn't about constructing an argument; it's about the moment revelation. In just under 24 minutes, I found myself crashing through single events in my own life as though they were frames in a slide carousel. As singer Dan Coulson spits "Don't you know that you split this town in two?" I find myself narrating my own pivotal decisions, reevaluating the plot for just a few seconds before I'm launched into the next frame. This continues relentlessly and I'm left numb. Then I hit play and I'm in free fall once again. It's unreal.