Today sees the official release of Nikki Nack, the third album by tUnE-yArds.
Following the critical acclaim for previous record whokill, it finds Merrill Garbus working closely with producers including Malay (Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys) and John Hill (Rihanna, Shakira): "I had to let go of tUnE-yArDs being rigidly my production. I have a very specific vision for the sound of the band and I don't think women producers get enough credit for doing their own stuff, so I was resistant - but we grew, Nate and I both, and the songs grew. And it turns out that's what's most important: the songs, not my ego."
Experimentation is still key too. Where the loop pedal and the saxophone were main components of the first and second record respectively, it's the drum that takes centre stage here, augmented by greater use of synth and Nate's growing prowess as a bassist. With it's its jump-rope-chant title, the brilliantly playful Nikki Nack continues the tUnE-yArDs story gloriously.
"Dazzlingly imaginative." - NPR
"Playful but extremely confident." - Pitchfork (8.1/10)
"Easily Tune-Yards' finest work... Chaotic, eclectic and unique." - NME (8/10)
"An album with sounds you can see, a voice you can feel, and music you can all but touch." - Drowned In Sound (8/10)
"Merrill Garbus could sing about what she had for breakfast and make it sound scintillating." - The Guardian ****
"A unique and thrilling voice forging a new folk tradition" - Q ****
"If there's a more eclectic, vibrant and inventive singer out there than Merrill Garbus, suggestions on a postcard please." - The Sun ****
"Lovely R'n'B ziggurat." - Rolling Stone
"Possibly the catchiest record of the year." - New York Magazine
"A hyperactive sound-clash, an eclectic Kool-Aid luminous flavour of bubblegum pop... Merrill is digging deeper than ever to pull out something fresh."- Monolith Cocktail
Evening Standard **** | Metro **** | MOJO **** | DIY ****