Tobi Lou moves in his own way. He has since his days in Chicago as Wonda and continued a successful two-year run with the anticipated release of his debut full-length, Live On Ice.
The best artists to emerge from the city in the last decade have been those with deep thematic understandings, and Tobi certainly fits in that regard. Since emerging in late 2015 with a string of bi-monthly singles thoughtuflly packaged with original cartoon characters representing them, he’s consistently produced work that is light enough to listen through a few times, while working across a varied landscape of motifs ranging in depth. More than anything though, he’s having fun with it in a way that many these days aren’t, and it’s obvious from start to finish.
The internet has already set about homogenizing much of what the masses refer to today as creator culture, making it distinctly more difficult to stand out among a increasingly crowded landscape. Despite this, Lou has proved the ability again and again to stand alone. On this one in particular, he stays in his lane, while simultaneously widening it. There are few negatives to be had in his creation of the music itself, and the accompanying visuals have been a constant since his re-emergence, however Tobi Lou does fall victim to the digital worlds obsession with overwrought tracklistings. I fell in love with dudes work while he was focusing his effort on one single at a time and on Live On Ice it feels, similarly to Chances The Big Day, to be lacking a bit of subject matter beyond the obvious. What I appreciated about everything to this point, and what is evident on his best pieces here, is a storytelling ability that is at once light-hearted and inclusive. Despite any of that, Live On Ice did not disappoint and continues to move us closer to his rumored No I.D. project thats supposed to be on the horizon. The bops are just perfect for summertime, or any day your feeling more up then down.
• “That Old Nu-Nu”