In May, New England’s Merrill Garbus, also known as Tune-Yards, released her third album, Nikki Nack, on 4AD.  Garbus is known for her quirky style of performing music featuring her unique voice, herself on drums, ukulele, and many other instruments, and her seemingly endless supply of energy.

Garbus definitely takes after many different influences. There’s a huge Afrobeat influence in her percussion (and she performed on a Fela Kuti compilation last year). The first single released off of the album is the infectious “Water Fountain”, which has a beat that makes it impossible not to get up and dance to.  It’s pretty awesome how unique of a sound Garbus does achieve; the Afrobeat-inspired percussion provided a backbone for some awesome sampling, looping, and electronics on tracks like “Real Thing”, and it gets super groovy for “Sink-O”.  The record gets a little R&B on “Wait for a Minute”, the second single from Nikki Nack.  The closer, “Manchild”,features more of the quirkiness featuring lots of different percussion instruments.

Tune-Yards’ music can be a bit polarizing, but if you can get past the weirdness, the strange and colorful world of Tune-Yards is a great place to find yourself.  I highly suggest checking out a live show. She’s currently on a world tour that includes dates in Europe, the United States, a few opening dates for the Arcade Fire in Canada, and a tour of Australia.  Check out the dates at her website below:


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