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Tune-Yards

Nikki Nack

5th May 2014

After 18 months of near solid touring around second album w h o k i l l, Merrill gave herself some much-needed time off; "It was nice; I was trying to be healthy and have a good time,” she says. It was also the first time since embarking on life as tUnE-yArDs that she was without any new material in the works, allowing her to reflect on what’s gone before and where to next; “I thought, 'OK, if I'm going to grow as an artist, I need to do this differently.’” Where the second album saw her stepping in to a studio proper for the first time, her third album Nikki Nack sees her enlist producers to help her achieve new heights on some tracks; “To ask Malay (Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys, Big Boi) and John Hill (Rihanna, Shakira, M.I.A.) for input, 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.”

A record that could only have been made by its creator, experiences in between records - like a life-affirming trip to Haiti, her upbringing (her dad’s old fiddle even makes an appearance) and her finally catching up with 80s kid’s TV programme Pee Wee’s Playhouse some 25 years since first broadcast - proving influential during the songwriting process.

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.

1 Find A New Way 3.28
2 Water Fountain 3.03
3 Time of Dark 4.33
4 Real Thing 3.22
5 Look Around 4.26
6 Hey Life 3.37
7 Sink-O 3.17
8 Why Do We Dine On The Tots? 1.28
9 Stop That Man 3.33
10 Wait for a Minute 3.54
11 Left Behind 4.31
12 Rocking Chair 2.03
13 Manchild 3.09
1 Find A New Way 3.28
2 Water Fountain 3.03
3 Time of Dark 4.33
4 Real Thing 3.22
5 Look Around 4.26
6 Hey Life 3.37
1 Sink-O 3.17
2 Why Do We Dine On The Tots? 1.28
3 Stop That Man 3.33
4 Wait for a Minute 3.54
5 Left Behind 4.31
6 Rocking Chair 2.03
7 Manchild 3.09
1 Find A New Way 3.28
2 Water Fountain 3.03
3 Time of Dark 4.33
4 Real Thing 3.22
5 Look Around 4.26
6 Hey Life 3.37
7 Sink-O 3.17
8 Why Do We Dine On The Tots? 1.28
9 Stop That Man 3.33
10 Wait for a Minute 3.54
11 Left Behind 4.31
12 Rocking Chair 2.03
13 Manchild 3.09

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6th October
'Real Thing' Video Premieres On NPR, US Tour Dates

'Real Thing' Video Premieres On NPR, US Tour Dates

Tune-Yards

Today, NPR is premiering tUnE-yArDs' new video for 'Real Thing' from new album Nikki Nack via their First Watch series. Merrill Garbus says the Tom Jobbins directed video frames “the sometimes heavy lyrics of “Real Thing” in a Charlie Chaplin-like, humorous idea of me being a box of body parts in a factory.

Tune-Yards has also confirmed a string of December dates including four intimate nights at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg from 4th - 7th December, and a performance at...

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