Tune-Yards (or tUnE-yArDS to be correct) is the musical alias of Merrill Garbus and her debut album on 4AD "Bird-brains" is out today. It is an astonishingly animated experimental pop record that is soothing and unsettling in equal measure - and comes highly recommended.
Recorded with digital voice recorder and shareware mixing software, the album feels distinctly 'demo' and does not try to hide these origins. It is thrillingly inventive - combining toy-box rhythms, kitchen utensil percussion, sing-song verses and tribal chants to great effect. I was captivated on first listen. Stereogum described it as "a self-contained Sublime Frequencies compilation, jumping between blues, African tunes, shiny reggae-esque sprawls, and lo-fi folk" Mrs A's response was less effusive: "More like NO Tune-Yards".
Reviewing it elsewhere I got a bit carried away: "If Fever Ray’s album was the dark twilight world of insomnia directed by Ingmar Bergman, Tune-Yards’ record is a sunshine-lawn double-dutch-skip directed by David Lynch". Forget and forgive the waxing lyrical and just enjoy a great, great record.
If "Bird-brains" is not enough Tune-Yards for you, then sign up on her website to receive an mp3 plus there is a Karn remix of 'Hatari' free to download on the 4AD site. And if you buy the limited edition version of the album from Piccadilly Records or Rough Trade it comes with a 5 song DVD including the one from the 4AD sessions above.
Bird-brains [BUY or BUY]