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Bird-Brains

16th November 2009

4AD formally release BiRd-BrAiNs, the debut record from tUnE-yArDs (the singular musical project of New England native Merrill Garbus), on November 16, 2009.

Possessing an expansive sound that marries a coarse folk ingenuity with the bold pop sensibility of an R&B siren, BiRd-BrAiNs was assembled with a staunch DIY aesthetic. Recording herself using a digital voice recorder and produced using shareware mixing software, she was described by Stereogum as “a self-contained Sublime Frequencies compilation, jumping between blues, African tunes, shiny reggae-esque sprawls, and lo-fi folk”, infusing the worldly sonic palette of M.I.A. or post-punk pioneers The Raincoats.

The album ranges from the surreal to the sublime, with ‘Lions’ described by Pitchfork as “halfway between a singsong schoolyard rhyme and a graveyard blues” whilst ‘Jamaican’ could be the blueprint to a Timbaland-produced gem with it’s ricocheting drums pattern and intoxicating tape loops.

Speaking about BiRd-BrAiNs, Merrill comments: “It is a patchwork of sound snippets, of history in a present tense. It is a composer’s commitment to the preservation of stories, however small and unassuming.”

Released earlier in the year on cassette and vinyl, it also recently received a CD release (with a screen-printed sleeve and limited to only 1000 copies). Finally, this is its official release on her new label; unifying all formats, remastered at Abbey Road and two new tracks added - ‘Want Me To’ and ‘Real Live Flesh’.

1 For You 1.50
2 Sunlight 3.47
3 Lions 5.00
4 Hatari 5.40
5 News 3.24
6 Jamaican 3.54
7 Jumping Jack 3.16
8 Little Tiger 5.00
9 Safety 4.38
10 Fiya 5.29
11 Synonynonym 3.50
12 Want Me To 4.25
13 Real Live Flesh 3.33
1 For You 1.50
2 Sunlight 3.47
3 Lions 5.00
4 Hatari 5.40
5 News 3.24
1 Jamaican 3.54
2 Jumping Jack 3.16
3 Little Tiger 5.00
4 Safety 4.38
5 Fiya 5.29
1 For You 1.50
2 Sunlight 3.47
3 Lions 5.00
4 Hatari 5.40
5 News 3.24
6 Jamaican 3.54
7 Jumping Jack 3.16
8 Little Tiger 5.00
9 Safety 4.38
10 Fiya 5.29
11 Synonynonym 3.50
12 Want Me To 4.25
13 Real Live Flesh 3.33

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Tune-Yards

In 2010, Yoko Ono performed several shows with the Plastic Ono Band and special guests at the Orpheum in Los Angeles. Among the guests of Iggy Pop, Mike Watt, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Perry Farrell, RZA, Lady Gaga, Carrie Fisher and Joseph Gordon-Levitt performing songs from throughout Yoko’s career were tUnE-yArDs, an act she had recently fallen in love with.

Their update of the 1972 lyrics of Yoko's ’We're All Water’ was to prove a highlight and shortly afterwards, Yoko...

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Bird-Brains

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