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The Music Room, Issue 40

Summer listens: tUnE-yArDs, Austra, Timber Timbre and more.

“The worst thing about living is a lie is just wondering when they’ll find out,” sings tUnE-yArDs’ delightfully eccentric Merrill Garbus on “My Country.” (After a few years living in Montreal, the American musician now resides in California.) On w h o k i l l  (4AD), Garbus’ powerful fusion of afro-funk and post-punk leads the listener through a riotous psychological investigation of contemporary culture. Her voice can go from monkey screech to swaggering gangsta to self-pity in one Nina Simone–like birdcall, and it’s backed up by weightier, more confident production than on her lo-fi 2009 debut BiRd-BrAiNsw h o k i l l finds strength in its sheer ambition, and the results are resplendent.

Toronto mystery outfit the Weeknd (made up of singer Abel Tesfaye and producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo) sounds suspiciously like the future of hip-hop. The Drake-approved R&B on the self-released ...

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