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TuneYards live review

Published on 12th April 2014

Merril Garbus’ latest album as Tune-Yards is her densest yet, although you wouldn’t know it from the accompanying live show. Where once Garbus brought with her the chaos of double drum kits and gaffer-taped ukuleles, tonight is an exercise in vice-tight vocal harmony, hand-held percussion all round, and confident, sleek arrangements that help unpick her latest songs for a live audience.

That’s not to say things have simplified – her trademark dissonant chord mutations are still there, as are Garbus’ deliciously jerky polyrhythms and playground hopscotch chants. But the delight here lies in how effortless Garbus makes the complexity appear, like a magician showing how all the tricks are done, then still convincing you it's actually magic. Boisterous and unselfconscious, this is tangy, bravura stuff.

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