The distance Chaz Bundick has established between himself and short-lived chillwave fad of the late 2000s is nothing short of impressive, let alone crucial to his musical longevity. While the bulk of acts from the subgenre faded beneath their effects-drenched compositions, Bundick rose above the rest in putting together a collection of diverse full-length records (including one from his side project Les Sins) that run the gamut from indie pop to house music.
On What For?, his fourth effort as Toro Y Moi, the South Carolina native has once again shifted musical shapes by putting away the electronics for a foray into an origin of the subgenre he helped popularize. Even with a sharp turn towards funk and disco on "Lilly" and "Spell It Out," psychedelic rock remains the record's predominant influence, with the keyboard washes and airy vocal harmonies of opener "What You Want," the sugary pop sweetness of "Empty Nesters" and "Run Baby Run" and the ever-present jangle of an acoustic guitar sounding very much akin to that which came from the '60s and '70s.
What For? is a little less varied than his past records, as the repetitive nature of the genre (particularly the lengthy jam outro of "Yeah Right") has a tendency to creep in, but it's an aspect that would have only hindered the record more had it been longer. Over a concise 37 minutes, though, Bundick makes a great impression, and if his creative blueprint up to this point is anything to go by, don't expect him to stay planted in this style much longer. (Carpark)