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Editors’ Notes

Digging hard grooves out of spindly, spare arrangements, this batch of tunes is responsible for getting more genteel, bearded, indie-rockers onto their feet than a “FREE BEER” bar sign might. Garbus uses her unusual, gymnastic voice as an instrument, her twitters, chirps and bold howls looped along with drum and percussion parts, and layered in West African-flavored polyrhythms (Garbus has lived in Kenya, where she taught singing). “My Country” opens Whokill with a vibrant explosion of colorful sounds, the hollow whomp of a floor tom and a surprise, metallic cartwheel of a keyboard note joined by (surprise again) freewheeling saxophones. The ukulele that was so ubiquitous on her Bird Brains debut only makes scattered appearances here; Whokill serves up exuberant, white-hot energy, pouring forth from jazzy horns and bass, clattering percussion, and brick-hard rhythms ... not to mention, of course, Garbus’ show-stopping vocals. The improved production here may put some people off, but we think it only adds to the power of the music, and the urge to dance. What are you waiting for?

Customer Reviews

Tune-Yards make a magical thrill ride

The new album WHOKILL by Tune-Yards pushes at every constraint modern music has built for itself. The singer's androgynous vocals move from R&B to Santogold to Motown to tonal yelps and then you realize that she's often a dead ringer for Journey's Steve Perry. Be prepared for accusing the group of pretension during the first couple of listens, but the fourth track Powa will bring you onside and then their unorthodox brilliance will become clear toward the lullaby of Wolly Wolly Gong.


what is this?


Born: 1979

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Beginning as the lo-fi experimental folk project of Merrill Garbus (also of the noisy indie pop band Sister Suvi) tUnE-yArDs fuses indie-pop and global elements into uniquely vibrant music. Garbus began writing and performing under the tUnE-yArDs moniker in 2006, using a digital voice recorder and shareware mixing software to assemble her homespun patchwork of found sounds, field recordings, ukulele, unusual percussion and surprisingly soulful vocals. It took Garbus two years to craft debut album,...
Full bio
Whokill, Tune-Yards
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Customer Ratings