Chaz Bundick has taken another unexpected detour with his fourth album, What For? The 10-track LP, the writer-producer’s latest under the Toro y Moi moniker, is full of fuzz-pedal guitars, soulful rhythms and classic rock chord changes — a change of pace from his previous forays into chillwave and funky electro-pop. What For? is out April 7th on Carpark Records, but fans can stream the entire set now at NPR.
The album is bound by its organic, vintage-sounding production style, but Bundick covers a lot of stylistic ground within that framework – from the jazzy groove of “Buffalo” to the Doobie Brothers-at-a-disco rush of “Spell It Out” to the power-pop hooks of “Empty Nesters.” The biggest revelation on What For? is Bundick’s prominent use of electric guitar; most tracks are driven by six-strings, with many incorporating kaleidoscopic solos.
Bundick was lumped into the chillwave genre with his debut LP, 2010’s Causers of This, but he explored funk, psych-pop and electro-pop in his two follow-up albums, 2011’s Underneath the Pine and 2013’s Anything in Return. What For? signals his most dramatic about-face to date.
“I’ve done electronic R&B and more traditional recorded type R&B stuff – I just wanted to see what else was out there,” the musician previously said in a statement. “It’s all coming from the same mindset and point of creativity. It’s just me trying to take what I already have, and then taking it further.”