Album Review: soul trash – Toro y Moi

In terms of music, we live in a time of great ease and accessibility. Almost anything you want to listen to is available at the push of a button. Find your music app of choice and type your desire into the search bar, and there it is, immediately. For those of us old enough to remember the days of purely physical media, it is easy to scoff at this. But it is truly a gift for the listener. However, there used to be more joy to finding those random bits of music that no one else has access to at the time. Sometimes, it feels like that opportunity has completely disappeared, outside of out of print vinyl. So, imagine my surprise this week with the odd release of soul trash, a mixtape from the mind of Toro y Moi.

This surprise drop of new material is especially impressive after the recent release of Toro y Moi‘s new album Outer Peace, which is full of excellent music to listen to already. Regardless, Chaz Bear announced soul trash via an Instagram post in which users could download it via Dropbox. For anyone with a Dropbox account, the 24 minute mixtape is still available here.

soul trash, similar like much of Toro y Moi’s work, is difficult to describe as he is able meld different styles into a cohesive piece of music. This is especially noticeable here as there are no track separations, simply continuous play. In comparison to his full length work, this is decidedly more raw and does not feel as pristinely produced in quality. Instead, Toro y Moi dives into his chillwave roots while using many aspects of his growth as a musician over the years.

This is not a piece of work that will likely stand the test of time, solely due to its lack of catchy hooks and separate tracks. But for those of us that cannot get enough of Toro y Moi, this is an absolute gift. Hearkening back to his 2015 Samantha mixtape, soul trash showcases his production style, lyricism, sense of humor, and flat out phenomenal musical ability. Besides the relaxing nature of the elongated track, there are elements of funk, synth pop, use of movie clips, blues guitar, and a rap verse or two. Due to the differing stylistic choices, soul trash may divide listeners. With work like this, it is easy to pick it apart and have qualms with individual portions. On the other hand, it is inspiring to see an artist refuse to limit himself to a particular genre. With this much talent on display, it forces our ears to accept these styles as Toro y Moi has arranged them in the quick 24 minutes.

In these days of focus on streaming and singles (as opposed to albums), it is fantastic to see an artist just bursting at the seams with new music. Instead of holding back, Toro y Moi is reacting in the opposite manner. Almost as if he cannot stop himself from creating, he continues to push out new work. Although he has done a few collaborations already, it would not be a surprise if Toro y Moi goes on a bit of a creative spree now that he has put out another acclaimed album and mixtape.

Follow Toro y Moi on Spotify.

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