Toro y Moi, producer and singer, releases his new album Outer Peace next Friday 1/18, but NPR gave us a chance at an early listen. Toro is known for making throwback disco and was one of the first artist apart of the chill-wave trend that came around in the early 2010’s. This new album is one of his most enjoyable albums yet, with 10 songs of feel good electro-pop music.
The album starts on a high note with “Fading”, reminiscent of a tribute to early 80’s synth and disco classics. He rides this wave into the single “Ordinary Pleasures”, an amazing boogie track where all he wants you to do is feel every satisfaction that you can.
The album keeps playing as if you found your parents old records and just discovered the Bee-Gees. The emotion is high and doesn’t flutter. The baseline doesn’t stop and my feet can’t either. As we get deeper into the album the tone begins to shift on the Abra featured track “Miss Me.” The first voice we hear that isn’t Toro comes in as a sharp contrast to the bounce and bump that we’re used to, as we slip into what feels like syrup as Abra sings over the electronic melody, it sounds like RnB for robots.
The next song is uncharted territory for Toro as he comes in taking his shot at some auto tuned crooning rap. Over the background vocals of wanting a brand new house that he can’t even afford he asks for simple things like a long shower and it feels so relateable, begging life for some little pleasures like a good shower and sleep.
The album heads back to the sound he opened with on “Freelance.” It’s the best synopsis of the albums whole, a strong baseline, high hats, beautiful singing, and a reference to never wearing shoes or socks anymore it’s only sandals, and as a standing member of the Birkenstock community I fully support this wave. Toro continues the party into “Who Am I”, a song that sounds like a warehouse rave gone into a time machine and Toro doesn’t know who he is, where he is, or what’s going on but that isn’t stopping this train.
The albums closes out on a calmer vibe and little bit of back and forth play with a feature from Wet as the auto-tune keeps rolling, ubers are pulling up and we’re taking trains into the city, it sounds like driving music for late night New York. This album is the first great album of 2019, the fun doesn’t stop on this record and you’ll be glad you gave it a spin. Toro y Moi has been a consistent figure in the underground scene for the past few years but this project has the sound of a pop album and it has the chance to take him into superstar status.
Favorite tracks: Laws of the Universe, Freelance, Who Am I