Toro Y Moi "Sandhills" EP (2023)
Details: Toro Y Moi "Sandhills" EP (2023, Dead Oceans). Black vinyl. New stock, sealed. Music on side A, etched vinyl on Side B.
Description: Toro y Moi's 'Sandhills' is both a tender love letter to Chaz Bear's hometown of Columbia, SC, and a poignant, bittersweet acceptance that one can never really go back home. Recalling Sufjan's 'Seven Swans' or Karen O's soundtrack work for 'Where The Wild Things Are,' these loping folk-pop songs are themselves a sort of Saturn return, reminiscent of Bear's first handmade CD-Rs as Toro y Moi. Bear gave them out to friends in the earliest days of the moniker, the releases stuffed in the Case Logic visor of their cars, and each listen brings a little more of that detail to life: the mall after which 'Sandhills' is named; the teenaged friends spending aimless hours there, full of big ennui and bigger dreams; the late-capitalist decline and empty big box stores of Sandhills today.
Chaz Bear, Toro y Moi, is now a globally beloved indie-pop icon. But 'Sandhills', with its banjo and lap steel flourishes and its wide-eyes wonder, concedes that you never quite totally rid yourself of those adolescent blues. You might just, if you’re lucky, develop better mechanisms (or delusions!) with which to handle them. "Sidelines" tells the tale of an aesthete putting himself through the high school football gauntlet. Even the closing novelty track "Said Goodbye To Rock n Roll" has all the makings of a Chris Stapleton hit if you just squint a little. Clear eyes, full hearts, sweet jams, can't lose. Lyrically deft and deceptively heartbreaking, 'Sandhills' may be a brief pit stop between grand statements from Bear, but it's brimming with rust, guts, big moods, and love.
Grade: M (new stock)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A01. Back Then
A04. The View
A05. Said Goodbye to Rock n Roll