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Toro y Moi’s “Sandhills” EP: A Journey Back to Columbia Roots

Columbia native Chaz Bear, AKA Toro y Moi, released a new EP titled “Sandhills” along with a new film directed by Steve Daniels and produced by Katherine Perry. The film showcases many of Columbia’s most iconic landmarks.


Chaz Bear sits back after enjoying a hot dog from Jimmy’s Mart. | Photo by Chris Maggio

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“Didn’t tell anyone I was coming home, then I stayed for three months. Spent the summer in South Carolina, doing what I want,” sings Toro y Moi, AKA Chaz Bear, on the opening track of his new EP titled “Sandhills.”

The new release from the Columbia native is accompanied by a short film directed by Columbian Steve Daniels. This project is more than just a collection of songs; it’s a homecoming.


Ernest Lee (perhaps better known as Chicken Man) created the cover art for the new Toro y Moi Sandhills EP. | Cover art provided by Toro y Moi

A Personal homecoming

The EP is a collaborative effort filled with local connections. Producer Katherine Perry was Chaz’s high school photography teacher (Ridge View High School), and director Steve Daniels, who is also Perry’s husband, worked with Chaz on a video for his high school band. Adding to the local flavor, the football team appearing in the film is the one you’ll see on Friday nights. Columbia-based artist Ernest Lee, better known as Chicken Man, is responsible for the EP’s artwork.

Sonic evolution

After ushering in the chillwave genre, Chaz has explored various musical styles over the past decade. “Sandhills” marks a new chapter, focusing on Americana —a genre that allows him to dissect his Southern upbringing. This comes after collaborations with pop stars like Flume, Blood Orange, and Tyler, The Creator.


The “Sandhills” EP serves as both a love letter to Cola and an acceptance of the bittersweet nature of homecomings. It’s a nostalgic journey that harks back to where it all started with Chaz and his six-string and an album filled with folk-pop songs that are lyrically retrospective and emotionally resonant.

Listen to “Sandhills” and watch its accompanying film to experience Toro y Moi’s heartfelt return to his roots.

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