Toro y Moi – MAHAL

For his seventh record as Toro y Moi, Chaz Bear has curated a sonic escape route fit for a time of exceptional dread

Album Review by Ryan Drever | 25 Apr 2022
  • Toro y Moi - MAHAL
Album title: MAHAL
Artist: Toro y Moi
Label: Dead Oceans
Release date: 29 Apr

Seemingly inspired by the Filipino jeepney celebrated on the album's front cover, Chaz Bear's seventh record as Toro y Moi, MAHAL, plays out like a warm summer road trip with the radio up full blast. It leans into this vibe hard too, with regular crackles, crunchy dials navigating the chatter of static, and the passing fog of general car noise throughout. As a result, songs dip and dive in and out of focus, smothered in a swooping filter one minute, breaking into glorious groove or melodic joy the next, like changing channels on the fly.

At its best, it helps amplify the freewheeling feeling of momentum and movement but more often than not, it detracts from the quality of the tunes themselves. And the record has plenty: from the righteous 60s psych rock of opener The Medium (ft. Unknown Mortal Orchestra) to the squelchy funk of Postman, the lush grooves of Magazine (ft. Salami Rose Joe Louis) and The Loop, and the slow jam of Mississippi. It’s a smooth ride for the most part but sometimes you just wish whoever's driving this thing would find a decent station and stick with it.

Listen to: Magazine, The Loop, Way Too Hot