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Toro Y Moi’s “MAHAL” Is Way Too Hot

Written by on April 29, 2022

Pictured above: Chaz Bear. Photo courtesy of @toroymoi on Instagram.

Hop in the jeepney and go on a scenic musical drive with Toro y Moi.

Toro y Moi’s seventh album MAHAL hit streaming services everywhere on Friday. Known professionally as Toro y Moi, singer, songwriter and producer Chaz Bear has blended countless genres throughout his decade-long career, like R&B, funk and various styles of electronica, to craft an intoxicating medley fans can’t seem to get enough of.

Bear dropped four singles prior to the album’s release, providing a sample of the different musical flavors mixed into MAHAL. “Déjà Vu” is an easygoing piece heavily inspired by ‘60s psychedelic rock, while minimalist funk instrumentals and crystal clear vocals carry the track “Postman.” Those are only the tip of the iceberg — there are 14 songs on MAHAL, each with a distinct atmosphere. 

MAHAL kicks into gear with revving engines speeding toward a jubilant psych-jam with Unknown Mortal Orchestra on album opener, “The Medium.” Somber vocals follow, filling second and third tracks “Goes By So Fast” and “Magazine,” then shift into the funkier and more upbeat “Postman,” “The Loop” and “Last Year.” Dense, hazy textures add depth to tracks like “Clarity” and “Days In Love,” displaying Bear’s deft use of both old and new schools of psych rock.

The carefree nature of many tracks is reflected heavily in their music videos. Visuals for “The Loop” and “Postman” feature Bear and his friends exploring San Francisco on skateboards, in go-karts and in a jeepney, a souped-up Filipino taxi. In a press release, Bear described “Déjà Vu’s” video as a “small slice of American pie that I have prepared for you.” 

Short film “Goes By So Fast: A MAHAL Film” premiered in Los Angeles April 22 as an accompaniment to the album. The film follows Chaz Bear and comedian Eric Andre driving around San Francisco in the same jeepney. 

MAHAL is streaming now on all platforms. Fans will have an opportunity to see Toro y Moi perform songs from MAHAL live at Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park on July 17.

Listen to Toro y Moi on Spotify below, and follow him on Instagram.

Written by George Chiligiris

Edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca

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