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Stream: tUnE-yArDs’ new album Nikki Nack

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Freak folk musician Merrill Garbus, a.k.a. tUnE-yArDs, will release her third album, Nikki Nack, on May 6th via 4AD. In anticipation, it’s streaming in full at NPR.

The follow-up to 2011′s breakout w h o k i l l was recorded last summer during an excursion to Haiti, which Garbus took in order to “situate [herself] in a non-western musical tradition.” She also took time to study drumming with Haitian-born musician Daniel Brevin to explore the finer points of unfamiliar rhythms.

The 13-track album also marks the first time Garbus has used outside producers, namely Malay (Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys, Big Boi) and John Hill (Rihanna, Shakira, M.I.A.). The album’s preceded by two lead singles, “Water Fountain” and “Wait for a Minute”.

In a statement, Garbus spoke of the inherent struggle of bringing in outside help and “letting go” creatively:

“I thought, ‘OK, if I’m going to grow as an artist, I need to do this differently.’ To ask Malay and John Hill for input, I had to let go of tUnE-yArDs being rigidly my production. I have a very specific vision for the sound of the band and I don’t think women producers get enough credit for doing their own stuff, so I was resistant – but we grew, (bassist) Nate (Brenner) and I both, and the songs grew. And it turns out that’s what’s most important: the songs, not my ego.”

Pre-orders for the album are ongoing. Below, watch the video for “Water Fountain”:

Nikki Nack Tracklist:
01. Find a New Way
02. Water Fountain
03. Time of Dark
04. Real Thing
05. Look Around
06. Hey Life
07. Sink-O
08. Why Do We Dine on the Tots?
09. Stop That Man
10. Wait for a Minute
11. Left Behind
12. Rocking Chair
13. Manchild

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