The pupil-dilating font style Merrill Garbus uses for her nom de plume sums up her make and mend approach. This second album from the New England singer is the musical equivalent of a junk yard; conflicting styles seem chosen at random and bolted together into a sound that is creakingly ramshackle but wholly wonderful. Songs start conventionally and suddenly dive into deranged constructs with African rhythms colliding with hip hop beats, languid funk, jazzy vocals and punk folk. The tribal thump of My Country explodes into saxophones, Es-so’s double bass slides into crazy electronica, Riotriot starts with a sweet reverie but collapses into disarray and then switches abruptly to melody again, and the very creepy Wooly Wolly Gong is bed time sing song that will keep you up all night. Garbus’ off kilter rhythms and compelling voice recall Joni Mitchell on The Hissing of Summer Lawns only with a much more jumpy and spooked atmosphere. Unpredictable and endlessly inventive, Whokill is one of the highlights of the musical year.

Alan Corr