tUnE-YaRdS aka Merrill Garbus from Merrillville Indiana... (that's just south of Gary) has been getting a minimal amount of buzz around the blog-o-sphere, for good reason in my opinion. She recently opened for Beirut (Music Hall of Williamsburge) and is currently on tour with Sister Suvi right now.
Tune-Yard's debut album Bird-Brains is a DIY masterpiece... comprising of a collection of recording for the last couple of years all collected and cut & pasted into one records. The nearly avante-garde drum style looped over much of this record gives it a very choppy/weird feel. Add, the spotty bass and acoustic and you'll really wonder what the hell your listening to. But give it just a few minuets and Merrill will capture you.
Merrill has two defining styles of singing on this record, one is a falsetto style that reminds me of St Vincent, but that might be because I have been listening to her a lot lately. The second is a sing-song style of yell-singing in the back. The mix of both styles gives Merrill and wide variety of musical range.
There is a wild mix of world music on this record, more prominently Jamaican; with Jamaican looped type vocals at the beginning of Hatari, and drum short choppy drum rhythms through out the record.
In short, I am really enjoying this record right now. At first appearance it seems a bit abrasive, but Merrill's voice is able to bring it all back to the experimental - world - pop that I love. Surprise is a great song, but I really like, When You Tell the Lions, and Jumping Jack. They both catch you off guard.
Little Tiger (live at the secret garden) Via - Hooves On The Turf
You can buy Bird Brains via donation on tUnE-YaRdS website...