Not chillin' but wavin', synth popper wades deeper
With 2010's Causers of This, Chaz Bundick ambled to the front of the bedhead synth-pop scene -- dubbed chillwave after a blogger's in-joke. The South Carolinian's second album as Toro Y Moi keeps that unhurried glide, but ditches the electro-R&B samples for ornately funky lounge pop, often with a live, improvisatory feel. David Axelrod's plush grooves, Ennio Morricone's CinemaScope expanses, Brian Wilson's tragic kingdom: Underneath the Pine has deep roots. And, beneath woozy sighs and richly varied arrangements, deep uncertainties. "I can wait," Bundick insists on psych-pop stunner "Elise." Save the last laugh for him.