Day 87: tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l

26 May

Gangsta

About halfway through this record, something hit me.  I hadn’t done my usual pre-listen research, and I couldn’t get over the vocals.  Naturally, for most of the album, I pictured the unconventional screech that dominates w h o k i l l was coming from a dude.  Now, you could write a whole dissertation on what that says about sexism in the indie community or something, but it’s the truth.  Merrill Garbus, the sole member of tUnE-yArDs (case-sensitive), sounds like a man.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not care at all.  I’m not sexist to the point that I let the gender of the singer effect how I perceive the music.  It just really threw me off.  I feel like I’m only digging myself into a deeper hole, so just listen to this, and you’ll understand what I mean.

Okay, straight-up, w h o k i l l is not for everybody.  It’s classified as “freak folk” (a genre name that I usually despise, because people apply it to almost anything unconventional—it’s becoming the new “alternative”).  That term almost fits when applied to tUnE-yArDs, though.  There are plenty of elements of folk music that shine through, but overall, this music just has an extremely weird, unconventional sound—and I love it.

I was trying to come up with a list of the different elements that can be heard throughout w h o k i l l, which proved to be nearly impossible.  Part of what gives this record such a strange sound is the large number of instruments and samples that come together to form something truly awesome.  Chances are, you may not like tUnE-yArDs.  Give man-lady a shot, though, and listen to a couple of songs.  If nothing else, you will hear something unlike anything you’ve heard before.

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One Response to “Day 87: tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l”

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  1. First half Top 5 « Swole Ear - September 3, 2011

    […] 5. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l […]

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