Posted March 16, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Toro y Moi Celebrates 10th Anniversary of ‘Underneath the Pine’

Toro Y Moi Photo by Andrew Paynter
Toro Y Moi Photo by Andrew Paynter

Chaz Bear (aka Toro y Moi) says that Underneath the Pine was one of his “more challenging” records to make. 

“It was made between tours for Causers over the course of about two months,” he says in a press release about the album’s upcoming reissue to commemorate its 10th anniversary. “I’d never really consciously recorded a record. Causers was a bunch of demos that I sort of just whipped together. But, Underneath the Pine was a bit more conceptual in that I wanted to keep it all natural and free of samples and loops.”

Bear recorded it at his parents’ house in South Carolina by himself while they were at work and would stop when they came home. 

“Recording UTP really pushed me to learn the proper way to record with multiple mics and acoustic space,” Bear says. “I was listening to a lot of disco, funk, astral jazz, and psych rock. The lyrics were once again the last thing I added to the songs, you can hear all of the imperfections and happy accidents sprinkled throughout the record that make so many great moments. When it came to mixing, I didn’t know what to expect being that I’d never mixed in a studio before.”

He wound up having the album mixed at Chase Park Audio in Athens, GA, where he says engineer Drew Vandenberg helped him push his “insecurities” out of the way while mixing his vocals. 

“It was the last record I made before moving to California and a lot of the themes in my lyrics were about leaving home and staying in touch with friends and family,” says Bear. “For me this record opened the door to make records like What For? and Star Stuff. It was a statement to move beyond the bedroom.”

Thanks to everyone who has supported me and the band for so long, we honestly wouldn’t be here without you.

Chaz Bear

To commemorate its 10-year milestone, the album will be released on colored vinyl on April 16 for the first time. The limited edition pressing of the original album will be pressed on Desert Sun Splatter vinyl, and orders from select U.S. indie retailers will receive an Underneath the Pine Pine Seed Matchbook while supplies last.

The album will also arrive on cassette and be available to stream.

Photo by Andrew Paynter


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].