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8:35pm, Saturday, Indoor Stage
Here is one of 2012's most unique and inventive artists, the amazing tUnE-yArDs is the project of Oakland based Merrill Garbus. Using an complex selection of loop pedals and death-defying timing, Merrill weaves fabulous vocal harmonies, ukulele and intricate percussive rhythms taking the (always impressive) idea of live improvised looping to a whole new level. It is a means to an end though as the songwriting, displayed on current second album W H O K I L L released via 4AD, is a refreshing upbeat hybrid of Garbus' own creation, blending elements of Afrobeat, jazz, hip hop, psych and indie rock. Songs and ideas are crammed together like the tribal chanting of single Gangsta, the funky, playful Bizness and the uplifting You Yes You, where Merrill builds the soundscape around her whilst belting out a vocal akin to a soul diva. Her intricate textures are ably accompanied by electric bass and a dual sax attack, allowing the music to take on a power close to a more danceable, likeable offspring to Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica (yes it's that out there!) Look out for the face paint too. Unmissable.
"There is no one on the planet making music like tUnE-yArDs…as soon as she opened her mouth and launched into a stunning a cappella improvisation, you knew that you were about to witness something out of the ordinary." The Times