Reviews in 200 Words

tUnE yArDs: "whokill"

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm


It happens every day – creative people expressing themselves through art. It’s commonplace, and yet, still, sometimes, crossing paths with such creativity can be arresting. Listening to a Tune Yards album for the first time might just be one of those times. The work of one woman and a loop pedal, when Merrill Garbus puts her talents, energy, and oddly genderless voice to work, the results are quirky, twisty collages of music. Sometimes it doesn’t sound like much at all – rickety cacophonies, like a ship made of junk sailing on a quiet sea. Other times Garbus squeezes intricate groves out of her ukulele and a variety of drums. She makes this stuff live (both senses of the word are appropriate: as “in the moment” and also “living”). Listen to the album and then look up videos. On album, in concert – it doesn’t matter. This is a musician so committed and purposeful that it’s hard to not be overwhelmed. Jealous. She cites Central African music as an influence. It’s easy to hear that tradition of interlocking percussive beats wrapping together. But it’s not tribal. And it’s not familiar. And it’s creativity far from the commonplace.

~ Jay Cullis

Click here to subscribe to the official Beat Jab Podcast. This week preview tracks for tUnE yArDs’ new album “whokill.”

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