Tune-Yards - w h o k i l l
Merill Garbus returns under her guise Tune-Yards with a brand new album that leaves her lo-fi roots behind and embraces pop wholeheartedly. Her debut Bird Brains made quite an impact in 2009 when it was rereleased by 4AD, opening up her unique voice and looped and layered approach to music to new audiences. While many acts are embracing the same techniques, Garbus has taken them and crafted some wonderfully bizarre yet accessible pieces of music with them on w h o k i l l.
There’s a power and attitude behind the songs on this record from the very start with ‘My Country’. Bouncy percussion drives along as someone exercises their sax skills and Merill almost raps her way through the track like she’s just been given an adrenaline shot. ‘Es-so’ is no different with its angular riffing, looped vocals weaving in and out of each other amongst other strange synth noises. In fact there are several highlights early on with the likes of ‘Gangsta’ where she warns us to never move to her hood amidst crazy, layered yelps and yet more horns.
Garbus’ voice is quite a force to be reckoned with throughout the record, twisting and shouting in different shapes on tracks like ‘Bizness’ and the dreamy, summery tones of ‘You Yes You’. Yet for all the attitude she exudes, it’s on the stripped down ‘Wooly Wolly Gong’ that we get to hear her at her delicate and fragile best. W h o k i l l is an album with its ups and downs stylistically but never is it anything but engrossing.