Tune-Yards - Biography



tUnE-yArDs is the experimental music project of Oakland-based musician and former Sister Suvi member Merrill Garbus. Garbus, who also spent time teaching singing in Kenya, began writing and performing under the tUnE-yArDs moniker in 2006. The first tUnE-yArDs album, Bird-Brains, was originally self-released and recorded by Garbus using a digital voice recorder and assembled using mixing software over a two year period. In 2009, tUnE-yArDs signed to 4AD, who re-released the remastered version of Bird-Brains, with bonus tracks. The Guardian gave the album five stars, calling her “the find of the year.” tUnE-yArDs also went on tour opening for the Dirty Projectors, where her live shows gained much attention. Using her ukulele, loop pedals, multiple mics, a snare drum and her unique voice, tUnE-yArDs began gripping audiences everywhere. In 2010, tUnE-yArDs performed with Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band in Los Angeles and again at the Iceland Airwaves festival. 

tUnE-yArDs currently works with bass player Nate Brenner, who helped co-write her latest studio album, 2011's w h o k i l l.  The album was named "Best Album of 2011 So Far" by LA Weekly, the Village Voice's critics named w h o k i l l the No. 1 album of 2011 and it was named "Best New Music" from Pitchfork. tUnE-yArDs was also nominated for an mtvU Woodie Award in 2012 and her songs "Bizness," "Fiya" and "Gansta" have been featured in commericals and television shows.

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