"She's the find of the year" - The Guardian
April 18th / 19th (US) marks the release of the second album from Merrill Garbus' tUnE-yArDs. Entitled w h o k i l l, the album was recorded shortly after Garbus transplanted herself from Montreal to sunny Oakland, California having extensively toured debut album BiRd-BrAiNs through 2009 and 2010.
w h o k i l l retains the honesty of the lonely bedroom confessionals of her early work, but with the addition of the fangs, claws and dented metal of her new surroundings. Indeed, Oakland’s particular landscapes serve as primer for what you hear on the album, with the city’s unique vitality fuelling the brightness of w h o k i l l. By applying the tUnE-yArDs live approach to her studio work for the first time, Merrill’s added more buttons and joints to those already being used - one essential new joint is dexterous bass member Nate Brenner, who co-wrote a few songs.
Produced by Garbus herself and working with engineer Eli Crews, they show there’s no substitute for a good microphone, and the sonic nuances that can only be achieved through masterful recording techniques can be heard in each drumbeat and vocal line. Speaking to Pitchfork about the new record, Garbus explains:
"People kept saying, "Oh, I wish your recordings were more like your live show." But the stubborn, contrarian impulse in me wanted to rebel against their desires a little bit. I have no interest in making a live album. But, at the same time, I wanted to record it better than I had been able to record the last album. So I went into a real studio with a real engineer and real microphones."
Details of a late April/early May North American tour have also been announced today, with the first show taking place in San Francisco on 26th April. Further updates can also be found at the band's website here.
26th Apr - Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
28th Apr - Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
29th Apr - The Crocodile, Seattle
30th Apr - The Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver
2nd May - Visual Arts Collective, Garden City
3rd May - Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City
4th May - Hi Dive, Denver
6th May - Jackpot Saloon, Lawrence
7th May - Slowdown, Omaha
8th May - Cedar Cultural Centre, Minneapolis
10th May - Lincoln Hall, Chicago
11th May - Pike Room @ Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac
12th May - The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
13th May - La Sala Rossa, Montreal
15th May - Flywheel Arts Collective, Easthampton
16th May - Brighton Music Hall, Boston
17th May - Daniel Street, Milford
19th May - The Red Palace, Washington
20th May - Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia
21st May - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn
25th June - The Troubadour, Hollywood