Album Review: Tune-Yards – Who Kill

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Every so often an album comes along that leaves your jaw on the floor, one that stands head and shoulders above anything else that is currently being blasted out of your iPod at the time. We may not even be half way through the year and we may be at a period of the calendar that sees new releases from Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie and Lady Gaga, but Tune-Yards’ sophomore effort, Whokill, could well be that album.

Building on the success of their previous effort, the critically acclaimed Bird-Brains, Whokill is a record that pushes the band in a strikingly new direction yet maintains all the unconventionality and quirkiness that gave them their cult success in the first place. Here, Tune-Yards have adopted a bigger, much more ambitious sound that blends Garbus’ killer vocal range and ability to write a tremendous melody with fantastically eccentric afro-beats and wild brass sounds.

In the end, the result is an album so addictive that you’ll find yourself struggling to not skip back to the start and listen to it all over again once the percussion heavy crescendo of its final song, Killa, has rung out. After all, on top of being so blissfully exciting, every track on the album is just so fresh compared to the one that has come before it that its difficult to ever grow tired of WhoKill. It’s opener, ‘My Country’, for example, is foot-tapping pop anthem that dares you to sit still while it follows with the wildly unaccessible yet somewhat seductive ‘Esso’.

The song that stands out on the album, however, is ‘You Yes You’. With its shades of Vampire Weekend glazed with caribbean rhythms and gospel harmonies, it’s a song that you could return to time and time again and still continue to be swept off your feet.

Whokill doesn’t just proves Tune-Yards are one of the most exciting and fresh bands that have emerged onto the pop scene in the last few years, it proves that they’re also one of the most intelligent and innovative with songs that are dazzlingly unique and refuse to fall into the typical pop cliches.


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The Author

Daniel Sarath

Daniel Sarath

Daniel is a 23 year old award nominated journalism graduate who has been writing film news and reviews online for the last four years. His work can be seen at Yahoo, Screen Invasion and HeyUGuys.