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Tune-Yards - w h o k i l l

It takes a while to click, but when it does it’s actually quite wonderful.

It’s never easy to express quite how you feel about an artist who stylises her stage name with an array of arbitrary capital letters (tUnE-YaRdS) like a thirteen-year-old who’s just discovered MySpace. She probably takes photos of herself in the bathroom mirror too…

Similarly, ‘w h o k i l l’ is no easy album to review. One could be forgiven for dismissing it as a confused mess to begin with, and yes, on first listen it’s a haze of lo-fi, experimental noise, but don’t be deterred by this. It takes a while to click, but when it does it’s actually quite wonderful. Merrill Garbus is one of the most unique talents on the alternative scene today, and in this latest release provides a truly refreshing work that’s a massive step up from debut ‘Bird-Brains’ (or ‘BiRd-BrAiNs’. Sigh…) in terms of both production and songwriting.

First single ‘Bizness’ is unsurprisingly one of the highlights of this collection, and a gateway to the virtually flawless second half. Garbus’s voice truly comes into its own in ‘Wooly Wolly Gong’, which is by far the least frantic track on ‘w h o k i l l’, and a welcome relief after a while listening to “classic” tUnE-YaRdS.

If you struggle to get anywhere with what is admittedly a difficult and seemingly impenetrable album, try this: put it on a personal listening device of your choosing, wait for a warm, sunny day, then take a walk into the city, the countryside, wherever you can get to, with this playing in your ears. It might just cement ‘w h o k i l l’ as your album of the summer.

Tags: Tune-Yards, Reviews, Album Reviews

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