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I’ve never really heard nor taken any kind of interest in Tune-yards thus far, no-one else here will review it so I’m stuck with it.
I was always put off by the daft capitalization that I simply just can’t be arsed with. Phil reckons her debut was a classic though and so here we are with a third effort which opens with the type of track that if it were a children’s party, adults would be saying there will be tears before bedtime. Everything is happening at once, she’s ranting about this and that over a simple percussive backing track -its relentless. Better is ‘Water Fountain’ one part Malcolm McClaren’s ‘Double Dutch’ one part Tom Tom Club. Like Ali Campbell from UB40, Tuneyards has a voice which doesn’t quite match her ethnicity. There’s no getting around it, she sounds.....black. (Just need to check with the racist police on this - its not racist is it to say that? I hope not). Like with Vampire Weekend there is a certain amount of cultural tourism going on here, its heavily influenced by African American gospel and folk music and the track builds in intensity with excitable vocal added to excitable vocal until you simply have no choice but to go for a lie down.
On ‘Time of Dark’ you sometimes think what we are dealing with here is a kooky high-as-a-kite Annie Lennox and once the album settles down which it does a bit after the madcap openers, its something akin to Laurie Anderson performing ‘Graceland’ in its entirety. The music is clever, joyous and well executed. I’ve not enjoyed a note of it to be honest but its nothing if not exubrant and extremely catchy.
8/10 Rob Gannon Customer review, 21st April 2014
"The unbiased critic is looking for stand-outs and, boy, has colourful weirdo Merrill Garbus done so consistently since her arrival in 2009. And, when art is as rich as this the critic’s job is an easy one. His job is simply to deflect the energy of the medium onto the public." For the full review please see: http://www.sicmagazine.net/7388/tune-yards-nikki-nack/
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