"Whokill" by Tune-Yards on iTunes

11 Songs

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?

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?

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

262 Ratings

what

connor O,

Merril really hit it on this record. She is really a talent and I saw it in her live performance after bird brains and whokill proves her genius of looping and overall mixing of all different types of music genres. Whokill is one of the best albums of 2011 so far and look out for this live performance it's great just great all the timmee!

Album of the Year?

RollingStoner25,

A meticulously crafted interpretation of a beautiful mess. Throw M.I.A., Santagold, and Florence + the Machine into a blender (figuratively, of course), then add a couple tablespoons of "afro-electronic rhythm & blues"...mix well & enjoy!

About Tune-Yards

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, Bird-Brains, which she offered it as a pay-what-you-want download on the tUnE-yArDs website. Thanks to frequent touring with artists like Thao and positive buzz from music blogs, Garbus sold over $1,000 worth of copies of the album. In spring 2009, Marriage Records released the album on vinyl; that summer 4AD reissued it in a special screen-printed version before releasing a widely distributed CD version of Bird-Brains that fall, coinciding with a tour opening for the Dirty Projectors. For 2011's W H O K I L L, Garbus added bassist Nate Brenner to the fold and ventured into a professional studio for a more polished but still wide-ranging sound. The album earned widespread critical acclaim and topped The Village Voice's annual Pazz and Jop poll of music critics. Early in 2013, Garbus returned with tUnE-yArDs as Yoko, a single that saw her covering and remixing two of of Yoko Ono's songs to benefit the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, one of the charities helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy. When she began work on the third tUnE-yArDs album, Garbus changed her approach: A trip to Haiti helped provide inspiration, and collaborations with producers Malay and John Hill -- better known for their work with Big Boi and M.I.A. among others -- gave 2014's Nikki Nack an even more eclectic and accessible feel. ~ Heather Phares

  • BORN
    1979

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