Monday, September 26, 2011

Being Yourself: Making Music with Body&Soul

Ca-ca-cacophony: It’s never sounded so pretty.

To go from groovy lo-fi ambient sounds reminiscent of Toro y Moi and other chillwave music bands – stuff that sounds just like it don’t care - and then to ascend to powerfully liberating wails proclaiming “Wat’s the Bizness? yeah! / From a distance – yeah! / I’m a victim – yeah! / Don’t take my life away, don’t take my life away”             It’s something really remarkable.

But that's what Merrill Garbus does - remarkable stuff.

She's the life and voice behind tUnE-yArDs  (though Nate Brenner is now backing her up on the bass - and even sometimes chiming in for the creative process)

And she's making quite a rippling ruckus around the indie-rock world, especially now that she's on tour playing stuff from her latest (her second) album, W H O K I L L. The music she's making just hasn't quite been heard before.

It's sirens and horns, falsetto and onamonopeia ("Bang! Bang! Bang!").

It's Afro-pop, funky folk, Do-It-Yourself, hip-hop-happening soul music. But not the kind of soul music that came out of Mo Town and Chicago, though the music of her soul certainly does have an urban feel to it (she's living in Oakland, CA right now). Her soul music has force because it's her attempt at an authentic expression of self, with tongue-in-cheek, and yet deadly serious.

Maybe (because her songs and lyrics are dealing with issues of violence and race and sexuality, and they have such a bold-strong spirit to them) we should call it Body&Soul Music … It really is worth remarking:

In one song, her music can throw you off-kilter, set you to moving groovy, put you in a giddy mood, and leave you thinking.     And I dunno. That seems like something.

And now, check out the new video for her single "Gangsta" - in black&white with the usual DIY feel - over at Pitchfork.

Or give the whole album a listen, on Spotify.

Weeehee Weeheeehee  : Make it fun.

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