Indie Zone Reviews : Tune-Yards – “Whokill” (2011)


Label : 4AD/Self

Review by Luisa Mercier

tUnE-yArDs a.k.a. Merrill Garbus is a real talent. Her sophomore album “Who Kill” is just another evidence of this. She moved from Canada to California. A great change since she used to compose at home, and now she has a real studio as 4AD showed through videos; she also has a ingeneer that follows the creative process. The music has become even more “black” than in her debut and she abandoned the acoustic style to use electronics, electric guitars creating a great contrast between Merrill warm vocals and the instrumental part. The songs are very cohesive and theres a “fil rouge” that can be found throughout the album: guitars not only substitute the banjo of the first record, but sometimes even become atonal as in the second track “Es-So” or the winds riffs in “My Country”. In general there are continuous references to N.Y. City as in “Killa” which is quite up-tempo and lively, but there are also more quiet, intimistic tracks such as “Riotriot” or “Wolly Wolly Gong” which is almost whispered. Merrill is currently on tour in Europe and in March she will visit my country Italy for one date in Turin, so if you like her check her web-site to know if she will play near you soon.

Rating – 70/100



  1. My Country
  2. Es So
  3. Gangsta
  4. Powa
  5. Riotriot
  6. Bizness
  7. Doorstep
  8. You Yes You
  9. Wolly Wolly Gong
  10. Killa 


Line Up

  • Merrill Garbus: Vocals, guitar & songwriting
  • Nate Brenner: Bass player



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