#3. tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
You’ve never heard music that sounds like Tune-Yards before, which in many ways is the reason for Whokill’s high placement on this year’s countdown. Tune-Yards manages to marry fierce experimental pop with insatiable listenability. Songs like “Bizness” and “Gangsta” are funky and creative to the core. You’re never quite sure if what you’re listening to is the chorus, bridge, or verse - no such definitions exist in front woman Merrill Garbus’ musical universe. And yet, what ends up happening is that the words, guitars, hooks, drums, beats, and whatever else you hear on Whokill, blend and mingle together to create a massive, catchy, 42-minute party anthem.
Whokill sounds like all the musical genres got together and had a dance party. Parts of Whokill sound like Dirty Projectors, Lauryn Hill, Micachu, Animal Collective, Braids, Erykah Badu, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. Yet, the biggest achievement of Whokill is not the endless juxtaposition and amalgamation of musical genres - after all, that has been done before - but rather the fact that Garbus has managed to do it in a catchy and listenable way. No longer is experimental pop only for people who like weird music! No longer is experimental pop frowned at at a party! No longer is it somewhat tedious to listen to experimental pop! Tune-Yards put an end to all such pre-conceptions with Whokill, a pop album that is both weird and wonderful, eccentric yet accessible.
It’s the pop sound of the future.