Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Sam Patlove
The whole "missing you baby" thing takes on so much more meaning when it's not just a lover that someone's missing, but it's everything. It takes on a significantly different meaning when the person doing the missing is never home, is never with that lover and never around any of the people or things that he or she loves. It's not as infrequent of a condition as one would suspect. Even those who work 70-hour weeks still get home most nights to tuck the kids into bed, take the doggie for a night walk and spend at least a little time with their significant other. It could just be a couple of dinners a week, where you're actually sitting down and talking to one another, maybe watching a movie - on a strict time schedule - holding hands or giving massages for the duration of the film, before cramming in a little more work, a little more computer time before you pass out completely, with one foot under the covers and one hanging over the side of the bed, like a drunk.
The feeling of love and loss, even when love has theoretically been obtained or is held, is a thousand times stronger and more destructive on the heads and nerves of those travelers, whose work it is to bust from one city to the next to make their livelihood. For musicians, the better they do, the more people want to see them, the more they stay or are kept out on the road, cashing in on the moment that no one knows when will end. Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi has been exploring these nagging feelings of desertion and some sort of obsolescent invisibility when you're away, when everything is still happening back home without you, for a few years now. The ideas seem to come to a head on last year's full-length album, "Underneath The Pine." You get a sense that he's picked out a specific pine (he says as much) and - in a completely non-morbid way has thought about the pleasures of just being laid to rest, anything to stop moving for a while and to just be closer to where he knows best, surrounded by the people he knows best. He sings, "You should do it while you can/Don't let it go/You should hold her while you can/Don't let her go," and yet, there are insinuations that he might also be talking about this whole music thing, taking his smooth groove and indie funk songs out, all over the world, without much time to rest those legs and that throat and to just be human for a spell.
"Still Sound," is a song that makes us gyrate. There's no doubt about it. It gives you the inner feeling of being a Casanova and no one else around you is saying anything, but they feel that there's something different in the air. They can sense it. It's sexy, deep down sexy and yet it couldn't be a more lonely song, speaking to over-compensating for sadness and remembering better times that may or may not ever be regained. Bundick sings, "It was a finer life when I was with my friends and I could always see my family/That's what I still want now, even if I'm here and I think that they won't be waiting/Cause I don't want to be alone." There's just nothing that can be done to make anything better here. The struggle persists. The loneliness wins, somehow, in spite of all the dirty dancing going on around it.
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Toro Y Moi Official Site