It’s that time of year again - the looking-around time. The time when everyone is looking around for a new person to cuddle with in the winter, a new passion to fill the coming frozen hours, that one new song that perfectly captures the new chill in the air and the strange and familiar smell of leaves on the ground.
This is where Merrill Garbus comes in. Known on the stage as tUnE-YaRdS, she is a one-woman dynamo with a ukelele and sampled beats from an mp3 recorder. Don’t mistake her lo-fi setup for minimalism, though - this woman’s sound is much, much larger than life. Her lyrics, some of the most original I’ve heard, go from gentle to creepy and back again so quickly you barely notice, like being pinched on the butt at a party by someone who looks like a cute, shy librarian, and you go “Did that actually happen?” and you’re secretly really glad it did.
Recommended tracks: When You Tell The Lions That You Love Them So, and Melting, which was recorded live on a certain someone’s radio show. Ahem. There’s a good interview with tUnE-YaRdS here, courtesy of the good folks at the excellent Said The Gramophone, where she also talks about her puppet show Fat Kid Opera.
If you want to keep the chills going, check out Taki Pejzaz by California’s Faun Fables. Singer Dawn McCarthy has one of the most amazing voices of all time, and this song will take you places. I’m not telling which ones. Go listen.