From the opening moments of Find A New Way, tUnE-yArDs’ nikki nack is either going to be completely fascinate you or turn you right off (just like their strangely-written name). tUne-yArDs is actually a solo effort from Merrill Garbus, who might be more known for Sister Suvi (a noisy indie pop band). Anyway, her voice is unique and compelling, which makes for a great record.
A ton of songs on here are worth repeat listens — check out Real Thing, which has one of the best choruses going. There are some odd influences going on here — folk, hip hop, and electronic music all sort of intermingle together on occasion — often just sounding that way because of Merrill’s intonation when she sings.
Sink-O is another totally oddball, but fascinating track. Wait for a Minute is my favourite track on the record — just beautiful, lethargic music perfect for a lazy Saturday. Rocking Chair gets my award for weirdest song of the year.
Ultimately, tUnE-yArDs doesn’t care what you think. It’s a record from a musician who doesn’t care about your expectations, and has little to no respect for the traditional musical requirements of cohesion of listenability. nikki nack is a playful, eccentric record that’s willing to have fun by refusing to play along with the program.
nikki nack is wildly inventive, and tUnE-yArDs makes it look easy. Like the most creative work, it’s bursting with the joy of experimentation. nikki nack should absolutely be the first thing you listen to this week. (Water Fountain is the first single.)