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On this week’s Talkhouse episode, we’ve got a couple of old friends who’ve made some great music both together and separately, and who record under interesting names: Chaz Bear and Hannah van Loon.
Those aren’t even the interesting names I was talking about. Chaz Bear is better known as Toro Y Moi, a pioneer in the chillwave genre who started releasing records about a dozen years ago. But that microgenre never quite captured what Toro Y Moi is all about, because nothing really can. Chaz Bear loves to jump around sonically, dipping his toes into indie rock, hip-hop, and even some jazzy influences. He’s got enough excess energy that Toro Y Moi isn’t even his only musical outlet, and he also moonlights as a graphic designer. This spring and summer he’ll open shows for Caroline Polachek, and he’s also part of the new ReSet touring festival that’s hitting bit cities this year. Oh, and he’s still got time to collaborate with today’s other guest.
Hannah van Loon has been making music as Tanukichan since 2016 or so, and Chaz Bear has been involved in quite a lot of it. In addition to releasing it via his own imprint, Company, Bear has produced quite a bit of van Loon’s music and collaborated with her on it, including the brand new Gizmo, which is out March 3. It’s a slightly more uplifting experience than her lovely but kinda dark debut, 2018’s Sundays. Her publicist describes one song on the new record, “Don’t Give Up,” as nu-metal meets Cocteau Twins, which is sort of simultaneously wrong and exactly right. Check out a different song, ”Take Care,” right here.
Van Loon and Bear are both a little bit introverted, as you’ll hear, but they chat a bit about her woodworking, his studio, and… TikTok. They talk a bunch about TikTok—whether it’s a force for good or evil, what kinds of weird corners you can find on it, and how it’s actually a really great tool for learning about new music. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Chaz Bear and Hannah van Loon for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great written content we’ve got at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: left, Kelsey McClellan; right, Brendan Nakahara; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)