You too can become a fan of Afro-Pop! This is the beauty of indie; it can encompass so many stylistic influences that Alternative Country can occupy the same space in your music library as Afro-Pop Soul. Filling that empty space in your genre list is tUnE-yArDs, a one-woman operation that makes so much noise an unexpected resentment toward artists playing just one instrument may occur.
Merrill Garbus is tUnE-yArDs, a musical force of nature taking cues from Afro-Pop, Rock, Soul, Reggae, Folk, R&B and Funk. This grab bag of genre elements is reined in by the power and range of Garbus’ voice that can be carefully controlled yet projected with wild abandon. In order to produce this cacophony of sound she uses drum loops, the ukulele, field recordings and the accompaniment of an electric bass.
Her debut album BiRd-BrAiNs was recorded using a handheld voice recorder. The rough production of this homemade album gives you the feeling that you are watching something special develop right in your own living room. There is an authenticity in the static and blips and cracks of the recorder that somehow doesn’t distract from the ambitious collision of sounds.
The new album from tUnE-yArDs may have received a bit of spit polish from the studio, but it is still brash, uninhibited and perhaps even more colorful than her debut.
If you like: KT Tunstall, M.I.A., Björk
Check out: tUnE-yArDs (start with w h o k i l l, continue with BiRd-BrAiNs, then graduate to EPs and rarities)
Feeling brave: Devendra Banhart, Juana Molina, Micachu, CocoRosie, Joanna Newsom
AI level: Advanced