Toro y Moi Covers Joe Bataan’s “Ordinary Guy,” Announces Instrumental Take on Debut Album | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020  

Toro y Moi Covers Joe Bataan’s “Ordinary Guy,” Announces Instrumental Take on Debut Album

Causers of This (Instrumentals) Due Out June 27 via Company

Jun 19, 2020
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Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bear) has released a previously recorded cover of Joe Bataan’s “Ordinary Guy.” Recorded in 2019 and first aired on radio, the song is now being officially released on Toro y Moi’s Company label. Bataan’s soulful late ’60’s doo-wop single has been fully updated and revamped at the hands of Bear and prior collaborators The Mattson 2.  The Mattson brothers and Bear last collaborated on the 2017 album Star Stuff. Listen to the cover before. 

The still living Bataan and Bear share an Afro-Filipino heritage and “Ordinary Guy” has been stylishly reworked into a cool summer breeze of a song. Bear manages to insert an extra line or two about being an “Afro-Filipino average sort of guy” that pairs well with its release on Juneteenth (Bandcamp is donating 100% of it share of all sales today to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Bear is doing the same.) Twin brothers Jared (guitar) and Jonathan (drums) Mattson bring a little cross-cultural flair to the proceedings with their accomplished jazz upbringing. An easy-going single that brought a smile to Bataan’s face when Bear played the song for him in person not too long ago. 

“I'm super excited to announce this release,” Bear says in a press release. “It's a cover of a song by a fellow Afro-Filipino, Joe Bataan. His music first caught my ear back in 2009 when Ryan Kattner of Man Man played it for me. I was immediately hooked by Joe's music because, to me, he represented the impossible—he felt so comfortable in his skin and he had so much confidence and appeal. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe at an incredible dinner with friends at Jeepney, a Filipino restaurant in New York City. Joe was at the center of the table, talking to us like we were family. I played Joe the cover that night through the restaurant stereo and he was so happy to hear that his music stood the test of time and reached me. Now, 45 years after the original song hit the airwaves, I'm honored to bring this song to new ears. Thank you for your support.” 

Toro y Moi has also announced today a fully instrumental version of his 2010 debut album to be entitled Causers of This (Instrumentals), which is to be released on June 27th on the Company label as well. It’s being put out in honor of the album’s 10th anniversary.

“This record is a glimpse into my early life as an American suburban-POC,” says Bear of the instrumental album. “It is a reaction to what it feels like to lose. Ironically, all of the sessions and files making up the album were lost in a car burglary in 2009; all that was left were the instrumentals. The lyrics were the last element added on this particular record and I'm excited for my listeners to experience the album the way I first intended it to be. Now, 10 years later, it feels more than appropriate to release this pared-down version of the record to leave space for thought and reflection. Thank you all for being a part of this journey with me.” 

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