tUnE-yArDs: w h o k i l l
Quirk-pop enthusiast Merrill Garbus treats to another helping of audacious genre mixing
Having graduated from the dictaphone plus editing freeware set-up of first album BiRd-BrAiNs to a real studio, Merrill Garbus returns with a little more sheen and clarity than before, but still flaunting the junkyard beats, catchy playground raps, lashings of white-girl ‘tude and utterly heartfelt soulful yowls that made her such an appealing prospect back then. Never one for making ‘easy’ music, Garbus’ idiosyncratic songcraft occasionally loses sight of melody, particularly in the record’s lacklustre closing third. Nevertheless, an artist with the audacity to splice calypso with doo-wop with folk with rap and top it with disconcerting lyrics disguised as cheeky nursery rhymes is always welcome round our way.