Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome to the tUnE-yArDs

If you haven't had the pleasure of checking out the inimitable Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-yArDs, live, there's plenty of video on the internet to give you a sense of what she's doing sonically, and technically. What's really big about the tUnE-yArDs project is that Garbus, seen here in the studio with Quinn's Nate Brenner on bass, is unabashedly incorporating the textures and stylings of R&B into low-fi, indie songs. The only other band to get this type of uniquely American, Afro-melismatic folk sound, with its pitch-perfect vocals at times seeming to nod to the polished aesthetic of autotune, is The Dirty Projectors. That Garbus toured with the Projectors as well as Micachu should come as no surprise. This is 21st century indie, as indebted to the sample-based aesthetics of contemporary radio jams as it is to David Byrne or Björk.