freelance – Unraveling the Modern Hymn of Self-Discovery

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for toro y moi's freelance at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The 21st Century Work-Life Revolution
  5. The Quest for Authentic Connection
  6. A Haunting Ode to Transience and Loss
  7. Examining the Nuanced Struggle for Identity
  8. The Lyrical Line That Captures It All


Oh, walk on the water — for me
Just for me baby, O.K
Oh, there’s always gon’ be pressure, O.K


Nothing’s ever worse than work unnoticed
Freelance now, yeah I guess you earned it
Life is only wishing we could load it
Level up, you’ve got to make a bonus

Mystic staring at his phone for oneness
Silver or black mirror, what’s the difference?
Imitation always gets a bad rep man
Witches Brew had me on on the first sip, man

Smells like autumn, smells like leaves
You don’t know that you’re rust and not belong so much
And then you get left alone
Left alone

Cloud hidden and my whereabouts unknown
Cazadero got me wearing all camo
Decked in Patagonia head to toe
Down for whatever, I think I let go

No more shoes and socks, I only rock sandals
I can’t tell if I’m hip or getting old
I can’t hear you, maybe you could change your tone
People tend to listen when they see your soul

Oh, walk on the water — for me
Just for me baby, O.K

Sometimes I think we are from the same place
Now I don’t
What just happened, happened, happened, happened, happened, happened?

Full Lyrics

In an era where the conventional pathways of career and personal identity blur into a digital mosaic of self-expression, Toro y Moi’s ‘Freelance’ emerges not merely as a catchy electronic tune but as an anthem for the introspective, modern soul. As the brainchild of Chaz Bear, the multi-talented musician behind the moniker Toro y Moi, ‘Freelance’ dives deep into the spirit of our times, symbolizing a generational shift towards inner exploration and a non-linear approach to life’s endeavors.

‘Freelance’ serves as a mirror held up to the listener, reflecting the complexity of navigating contemporary life in the shadow of social media, the gig economy, and the struggle for authenticity. Bear’s use of introspective lyrics against a backdrop of synth-heavy beats creates a surreal yet undeniably relatable dialogue with the zeitgeist. Let’s dissect this modern-day psalm, peeling back its layers to uncover the profound reflections hiding beneath its seemingly breezy exterior.

The 21st Century Work-Life Revolution

When Toro y Moi sings ‘Nothing’s ever worse than work unnoticed,’ he’s certainly touching a nerve for those adrift in the precarious, often invisibile, world of freelance work. Yet, there’s an underlying celebration; self-employment is not simply a condition, but an earned stage. In this digital renaissance, we possess the formidable power to ‘level up,’ to earn those elusive bonuses not through hierarchy, but through personal growth and perseverance.

The song doesn’t just lament the struggles of the freelancer but revels in the newfound liberty it affords. This shift from the traditional nine-to-five to a life where ‘Freelance now, yeah I guess you earned it,’ represents a broader collective exodus to autonomy and the reclaiming of individual agency in a career.

The Quest for Authentic Connection

In ‘Freelance,’ the Mystic stares at his phone ‘for oneness,’ a potent critique of our obsession with screens in our quest for connection. The ‘silver or black mirror’—a clear nod to tech’s omnipresence—is a false idol, leading us to imitation rather than true individuality. Yet, Bear suggests we’re all susceptible, with ‘Witches Brew had me on the first sip, man,’ implying we’re easily enchanted by technology’s allure.

But Bear doesn’t just criticize; he also empathizes with the struggle to remain genuine in a world that often rewards conformity. The song encourages a brave show of soul, arguing that when people ‘see your soul,’ they truly listen—a call to pierce through the numbing noise of social media and engage in genuine human connection.

A Haunting Ode to Transience and Loss

‘Smells like autumn, smells like leaves’—these lines evoke not just the sensory but the ephemeral. Autumn leaves, rusting and falling, embody the transitory nature of our endeavors and relationships. Bear challenges us to face the discomfort of impermanence, to acknowledge our fear of being left behind, and to embrace the uncertainty that comes with breaking molds.

‘You don’t know that you’re rust and not belong so much’ doubles as a haunting reminder and an existential riddle. Perhaps it’s a statement about our dwindling connection to the world as we immerse ourselves in digital avatars and cease to engage with the physical and communal spaces that once defined us.

Examining the Nuanced Struggle for Identity

Bear’s lyrics ‘I can’t tell if I’m hip or getting old’ are a succinct expression of the complexity of personal identity in the modern age—a time when cultural relevance, generational divides, and self-perception are in constant flux. His remarks about shedding socks for sandals and finding oneself amid the noise strike a chord with anyone grappling with the pressures to remain ‘current’ while staying true to oneself.

Toro y Moi urges a stripping of pretense, a rawness symbolized by the bare feet in sandals motif. This shift from fashionable obscurity (‘decked in Patagonia head to toe’) to vulnerability (‘Down for whatever, I think I let go’) underscores a willingness to surrender to the forces shaping us, acknowledging the futility of clinging too tightly to crafted identities.

The Lyrical Line That Captures It All

Within the wistful landscape of ‘Freelance,’ a particularly poignant line stands out: ‘People tend to listen when they see your soul.’ This memorable emission encapsulates the song’s hidden meaning—a call to authenticity in an age where it’s tempting to succumb to surface-level portrayals and curated personas. The implication here is clear: it is through vulnerability and authentic self-expression that we cultivate real resonance and meaning in both our personal and professional spheres.

It’s not just about the sound but the silence between notes—the spoken and unspoken truths. With ‘Freelance,’ Toro y Moi crafts a bridge between the digital and the human, suggesting that even as we navigate this complex web of modern life, we are ultimately seeking the same simple truths we always have: connection, purpose, and the recognition of our shared human soul.

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