Tune-Yards - bizness

Great to hear some new music from Tune-Yards the other week, a track called bizness, ahead of her new album, whokill, due out in April. You can listen here:


Here's what I thought of it:

Tune Yards - bizness (4AD, from the upcoming album whokill)
Picking up where Merrill Garbus left off with her wonderful debut Bird Brains but with a less ramshackle feel (recorded in a studio as opposed to on a dictaphone). Fantastic, gymnastic vocal loops get things going, before a west African-style groove of staccato bass and a matrix of guitars locks in, with a bank of horns as the cherry on the cake. Wonderful foretaste of her upcoming new album.

And a live date in Whelan's in Dublin has been announced for June 17th (she's also part of the mouthwatering bill of the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona at the end of May), the first visit to this country in almost 18 months (tickets here - http://www.whelanslive.com/ ). Here's what I thought of her last gig in Whelan's in Feb 2010:

Tune-Yards is Merrill Garbus, mostly, with Nate Brenner on bass for live shows. That might sound sparse but the amount of sound coming off the stage during the gig was staggering. She plays ukulele, sings and plays some drums, using a loop station to keep themes going. So there's hip hop, folk music, 4-part harmonies. (PMcD, who was with me, commented during the gig that it comes out sounding a bit like Paul Simon's Graceland at times.) And her record really does not do justice to what happens on stage, as Grand Snr, also with me, observed (one theory, maybe the dictaphone recording technique used on the album narrows the spectrum of sound). It's a huge, uplifting sound. I spoke to Merrill after the gig and asked her about the African influence, among other things - you can hear the full thing below). My highlights of the set were Hatari, Real live flesh and Fiya, all from the Bird brains album. Did I mention that I recommend this music very, very highly?

Speaking of recommending, you need to watch the incomparable Tune Yards session for 4AD, where Merrill and Nate bring their shit to the camera. It's wonderful.

And finally, this is the interview I did with Merrill after the show in Whelan's last year.

Topics covered include the African influence in her music, being a female role model in contemporary pop music, how she hooked up with the 4AD label, pints of Guinness, politics, performance, a DIY aesthetic, Dirty Projectors and playground chants. As with the live show, she was charming and extremely enjoyable company. Enjoy.


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