Exactly what you’d expect to find on an album called nikki nack. Bursting with bright color and light, the words may be backwoods (talking rabbits, briar patches, Daddy shot a bear) but the groove is pure playground, chainlink fences and graffiti-encrusted phonebooths and shimmering blacktop. Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner skip in and out of a double dutch beat, whooping and hollering a lyrical collage until it almost makes sense. 


She’s a white woman jumping and clapping her hands to a little black girl’s game. “Greasy man, come dig my well,” she’s sticking her tongue out, mocking herself or, rather, what she represents to the Haitians she lived with for two weeks during the production of nikki nack when she wanted to “immerse herself in a non-western musical tradition.” She knows  people might find that complicated or unsettling, and I think avoids tokenizing and minstrelsy on this track, at least. I may not be the most qualified to say.


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