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Tune-Yards

Tune-Yards (photo by Eliot Lee Hazel, PR)

Tune-Yards (photo by Eliot Lee Hazel, PR)

by

Tune-Yards
I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life
4AD

The unique Merrill Garbus, who records as Tune-Yards, was once the sole member of the band. But over the years, Tune-Yards has become more of a collaborative project with Garbus's creative partner, Nate Brenner. Four years following Tune-Yards' last album, Nikki Nack, comes a fourth album, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life.

On this new effort, Tune-Yards mix Garbus's signature rhythmic pop with observations on the important or disconcerting issues of the day. It’s this marriage of message and merriment that provides I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life its purpose. The unceasing mix of polyrhythmic beats, hooks, loops, and effects that defines Tune-Yards is front and center, guided by a strong social consciousness. Following Nikki Nack, Garbus took lessons on becoming a club D.J., and, as she explained to the New York Times, she also joined a six-month workshop at Oakland's East Bay Meditation Center that focused on race — and those two paths led to I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life. It's dance music for thinkers.

For those with two left feet, it’s a collection of topical messages set to a dense mélange of programming, samples, and beats The upbeat nature of the music emerges first on the album’s opener, “Heart Attack.” The track “Coast To Coast” acknowledges that there is a sense of social unrest in the air. White privilege, which dots the album's lyrical landscape, arises in “Colonizer,” where Garbus observes: “I use my white woman’s voice to tell stories of travels with African men.” “Private Life” draws on Afrobeat rhythms and addresses racial issues.

The environment is another concern addressed on I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, as there is a reference to the recent California wildfires in “ABC 123.” Sonically, “Honesty” is a tricked-out, free-for-all with partially-spoken lyrics and a dash of saxophone for good measure. “Look At Your Hands” is an electronic rush of adrenaline, with fast-paced programmed samples bound to send listeners into a frenzy of euphoric motion.

All of the songs on I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life were written by Garbus and Brenner and feature Garbus’s lyrics. The pair also produced the album.

On I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, Tune-Yards creates what is easily the band's most complex album. Dance beats, technology, and social concerns all intertwine, sometimes complementing each other and sometimes contradicting each other too. It’s innovation with a beat and a conscience.