Tune Yards – January 2012
“One of the most distinctive records we’ve heard this year.” – The Guardian
“Overflowing with hip-hop, reggae, Afrobeat and funky noise freakouts. It all hangs together thanks to Garbus’ voice, which slides seamlessly from Joplin-esque howls to delicate coos.” – Rolling Stone
Possessing an expansive sound that marries a coarse folk ingenuity with the bold pop sensibility of an R&B siren, Tune-Yards is the project of New England native, Merrill Garbus. No longer is her artful songwriting and soulful voice obscured by digital fuzz as it often was on her solo debut, Bird-Brains (2009).
Transplanting herself from Montreal to sunny Oakland, California, while touring almost non-stop for over two years, Merrill has stripped Tune-Yards away to a more precise, concentrated and vivid sound. w h o k i l l retains the honesty of the lonely bedroom confessional characteristic of her early work, but with the addition of the fangs, claws and dented metal of its new surroundings.
From a croon to a shriek to a rap to a hum, the vocal gymnastics of Tune-Yards songs remain front and center. Now, add a beat, one full of soul and swing and wonderful imperfection. That voice infiltrates your mind, shoots down your legs and converts any ground into a dance floor. The video for lead single Bizness is testament to this.
Already announced to play Sugar Mountain on Saturday 14 January, Tune-Yards will also play the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on Sunday 15 January, Mona Foma in Hobart on Saturday 21 January and Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday 22 January.