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Tune-Yards – sketchy. (4AD)

Tune-Yards
31 March 2021

Anxious voices, corkscrew rhythms and pixilated pop songs add up to a relentless thrill ride on Sketchy, the fifth Tune-Yards album. Balancing arresting sonic flourishes and urgent, sometimes oblique, reflections on social dysfunction, auteur Merrill Garbus and sidekick Nate Brenner craft a buzzy soundtrack for a revolution of the mind, from the twitchy “homewrecker,” declaring an urge to be “tending to the mending of the troubled times,” to the soaring “hold yourself.,” which exclaims, “we all have trouble being brave enough to turn the page.” With sputtering synths and clattering percussion shaping the sound, Tune-Yards’ tart blend of beauty and chaos supplies an antidote to complacency, tempered by a tantalizing hint of catharsis.