tUnE-yArDs: W H O K I L L
To try to put a label on what Merrill Garbus does with her project tUnE-yArDs is to miss the point entirely. Garbus’ androgynous tone is suited to rock or reggae, though she has a surprising range that allows her to shoot up through octaves with surprising skill. Her style is as inventive as the spelling of her moniker, layering sounds both familiar and bizarre to create beautiful lo-fi and electro that begs for a dance.
From the spoken-word introduction followed by drum machine and horns, it’s clear that Garbus is out to forge an identity all her own. “Gangsta” sounds like a remix of itself with sounds that resemble sirens repeating throughout. My personal favorite is “Wooly Wolly Gong,” which sprawls on for six minutes with falsetto vocals and delicate guitars. It’s a moment of peace on a record that is otherwise filled with delightful, complex chaos.
Fans of Animal Collective and other experimental acts will be able to admire each landscape that Garbus builds up and tears down within the space of minutes on each song. Vibrant and clattering, but always lush and gorgeous, tUnE-yArDs is not to be missed.