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The Tune Tinkerer

Oakland's Merrill Garbus and her merry troupe, tUnE-yArDs, are back.

Merrill Garbus, the brains behind tUnE-yArDs.

Merrill Garbus, the brains behind tUnE-yArDs

The queen of converting children’s tales into bona fide indie anthems is back.

After an explosive breakout in 2011 and a tour schedule that took her to just about every major festival on the West Coast and to Europe, Oakland’s Merrill Garbus and her merry troupe of music makers, tUnE-yArDs, are releasing their eagerly anticipated third album, Nikki Nack, on May 6.

Tell us more, Merrill: “Last January when I returned from Haiti, I had nothing. I’ve never had nothing before—I’ve always had some songs that I’m planning on recording. I thought, ‘OK, if I’m going to grow, I need to do this differently.’” And differently she did. Nikki Nack still has the band’s signature style, but this time it’s infused with synthed-out keyboard chords and jazzy syncopation.

In other words, it’s a crazy experimental genius expanding her repertoire and killing it. Watch her loop it all live at the Fillmore on June 6.


Originally published in the May issue of San Francisco.

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