Every Record I Own: Toro Y Moi – Outer Peace
I first listened to Outer Peace on a road trip with my friends Callum and Annabel when we were going through our favourite albums of the 2019 while driving Christchurch to Dunedin.
My picks were Stella Donnelly’s Beware of the Dogs (Post coming sometime. It has been sitting in drafts for months), Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings which I don’t own but would love to, and Battles’ Juice B Crypt which I only really listened to for a month and I can’t remember anything from it now. Annabel picked the Caroline Polachek album which became a favourite (but I don’t own it)
Callum picked this one. Having listened to Toro y Moi on and off for years it was a bit surprising that I’d let this slip by.
I hadn’t gotten into the last couple of albums of his but had previously listened a lot to his first couple of albums, after I saw him live just before the release of his second one. I also really got into the hip hop/beats mixtape Samantha that he released free a few years earlier. The Rome Fortune collab Benjaminz, built off the bones of a Puff Daddy song, is one of my favourite Toro Y Moi songs still.
Callum drew my attention specifically to the introduction to Freelance which uses the sound of coins being thrown across a table, which seamlessly merges with the beat and propels the song to begin. Every time I hear it I do the action of throwing coins. It’s one of those small moments which set apart
Soon after this road trip I bought the record and it quickly became one of the most played records in the collection. Mostly due to my flatmate Gerv putting it on at every opportunity, referencing the lyrics Maximise all the pleasure on my birthday card.
Toro y Moi tends to change genre every release but always has something familiar running through. I’ve tried to avoid using the word chill in this because of his connection to chillwave which he has grown out of many times over, but his ability to make any genre seem chill is both one of his biggest strengths and weaknesses. I played his music on the bookshop I worked at quite frequently for this reason. Toro y Moi’s discography on shuffle can sound like a well curated playlist.
Not much of his music demands attention as much as parts of this album do. You can be laying on a couch or talking to a friend but when Ordinary Pleasure comes on, you’ll stop and listen. Because of this it’s an incredibly versatile record. It can be a party record, but it is also appropriate for the end of the party when everything is winding down. You can lay in the sun and listen to it or have it on while doing chores. It’s fun and it’s melancholy. It can be put on whenever and be a good choice. I would guess that either this record or Orville Peck was the most played record of 2020. It also has a very distinctive thick silver spine which makes it easy to pick out.
It’s interesting me placing it in this time. I had to double check when I actually bought it because I thought I may have been out by a year. A lot of the other music I listened to a lot over that time I associate with really heavy and challenging feelings, but I have nothing but good memories associated with this.
Fave songs: New House, Freelance, Ordinary Pleasure