The brainchild of Merrill Garbus, tUnE-yArDs began life as dictaphone recordings which were then painstakingly mixed down on GarageBand to create her opening gambit, the debut album BiRd-BrAiNs. Initially released on a limited LP run with screenprinted sleeves recycled from thrift store bargain bins, the album was formally released in late-2009, having been remastered and with four more tracks added.
The Guardian, whilst awarding it 5/5, called her "the find of the year." In 2011, that rings as true. Alongside the record, she also started to build quite a reputation for her live performances. Using loop pedals, two mics, a snare drum, a ukelele, her distinctive voice (she's spent time teaching singing in Kenya) and crucially, a second band member, Nate Brenner on bass.
The new album, w h o k i l l, marks a time when everything came together in to one cohesive whole. Recorded in a studio and influenced heavily by her moving to Oakland, California, she and Nate have made an album that delivers on her early promise. Lyrically Garbus explores constructs of femininity and sexuality with the threat of violence that lurks on the streets where she now lives, while the energy of their show has been translated perfectly to record.
- My Country
- You Yes You
- Wooly Wolly Gong