[NEW ALBUM] tUnE-yArDs: Nikki Nack
Upon first hearing tUnE-yArDs (after Moses Sumney had proclaimed their influence on his music), I was under the impression that their 'wall of sound' was surely a product of a huge band. Learning that these sounds were in fact created from one person, musical mastermind Merrill Garbus, was an incomprehensible notion to grasp at first.
After the shock subsided, I further researched how Garbus was creating such a large and eclectic sound... without a full band. She uses a looping station to lay down percussion, ukelele and vocals which play atop of each other; creating a layered and rich textured sound, one that has hints of tropcali, futuristic, world, tribal, afrobeat, electronic, folk and everything nestled in between. tUnE-yArDs has since enlisted the help of more members, which further complement the eccentric sound.
Her story is inspiring and one that resonates well. In short, Merrill recorded her first album, BiRd-BrAiNs on a hand-held recorder and self-released it on recycled cassettes. The album received attention from the right people, landing her a record deal with 4AD. Fast forward to 2014 and the third album Nikki Nack has the support and praise from all over the globe. The album is a beautiful mixture of worldly genres, rather than trying to regurgitate the opinion according to me and other publications, I will simply let you decide for yourself, exactly what you hear.
Not only am I a huge appreciator of tUnE-yArDs' music, but I am inspired and moved by Merrill Garbus' story and how her creative mind transformed a musical endeavour into a successful career. One that she can now call her full-time job and share with you and I.
I now leave you with words of wisdom about Garbus a la Pitchfork:
"Merrill Garbus started recording music as tUnE-yArDs while working as a babysitter on Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Funny things happen to solitary people in quiet places. You talk to yourself. You expand to fit the space. You realize "you" might be more than one person" (Pitchfork).