REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha
tUnE-yArDs delivers the most original album of the year
tUnE-yArDs - "Nikki Nack" - 5 May, 4ADRecorded on a dictaphone, tUnE-yArDs aka Merrill Garbus’ first album ‘Bird-Brains’ was a sparkling one up over the Pro Tools generation’s often stale perfectionism. It’s ‘indie’ after all, isn’t it? 2011’s ‘w h o k I l l’ – using a studio for the first time – took things on to a new level; unveiling a blossoming and uncompromising talent. Always hard to pigeonhole, our Merrill’s aviary of ideas fly off in many different directions mostly homing in on something heartfelt and original. Framed in dance hall, electro, funk or a primal blues howl, her latest effort ‘Nikki Nack’ inevitably flips between genres at will and is (usually) all the better for it. Co-produced by Malay (Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys, Big Boi) and John Hill (Rihanna, Shakira, M.I.A.), the first thing to report is this is not the tUnE-yArDs ‘urban’ album, though the afrobeat swagger of first single ‘Water Fountain’ certainly has hip-shaking hit-parade potential – complete with hand claps, a snapping synth and a few Busta aping ‘woo haas’!