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CD Review
tUnE-YaRds - Bird-Brains


Record Label: 4AD Records
Review by John Noyd
December 2009

As evident by her recent Madison appearance at the High Noon Saloon, New England native Merrill Garbus knows how to swing simple beats into monstrous concoctions whose grooves provide solid bedrock for her quirky vocal acrobatics and ukulele-infused hooks. Her charmingly unpredictable debut, “Bird-Brains,” overflows with cock-eyed hopscotch cocktails and looped 200 proof goulash, amassing sweetly treated catastrophes whose child-like innocence produces playfully unhindered inventiveness. Scrapbook symphonies quietly infiltrate before unleashing rollercoaster yelps of Maori warriors, zig-zag magpies take flight summoning dainty dances and avenging angels, household ambience submerges beneath an unearthly whirl of unwrapped passion. Wonderfully contradictory yet refreshingly personal, alien and familiar, equally comforting and shocking, “Bird-Brains,” draws us in with its sorted sonic intrigues; embodying the opposing forces contained within us all.

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