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Boomkat Product Review:
Merrill Garbus’s debut album under the Tune-Yards (not gonna bother with the wacky lettering, sorry) moniker was a peculiar beast; one part lo-fi (she recorded it all on her laptop, with a cheap clip mic) and one part the kind of tuneful world-wise pop that even Vampire Weekend fans could get behind. It makes sense, then, that her second record ‘Whokill’ has had the production turned up to eleven, and Garbus’s incredibly distinct soulful wails are now pushed right to the front of the mix. Make no mistake ‘Whokill’ is just as weird and unpredictable as its predecessor, but at the same time there is a sense that the same people who go gaga for Dave Longstreth and his Dirty Projectors would have the same feeling about these whimsical tunes. Garbus’s greatest strength lies in weaving her enviable musical knowledge into her songwriting, so when we hear echoes of reggae, African music, ragas and even US rap running through her tunes it doesn’t seem contrived at all, rather it seems like she does it because it’s totally natural. At this stage in her career the songs still feel fresh and dynamic, and ‘Whokill’ never falters through its duration, even in its slower segments the record sounds as if Garbus is running at 140mph, and I doubt she’s about to stop any time soon. Recommended.