“The worst thing about living a lie is just wondering when they’ll find out…”
In January of this year, I saw the delightful Miss Merrill Garbus – better known as tUnE-yArDs - perform three times. Twice in Melbourne and once in Sydney. I’ve never seen another performer quite like her, and I don’t think I ever will. Garbus is practically untouchable – her banshee shrieks, her powerful Afrobeat rhythms, her mix of glitchy electronica and thudding hip-hop beats…it’s such a fascinating, powerful sound. Being an artist at heart, she also has a firm grip on visualising this sound – had I seen it in time, Bizness could have easily been in my top 5 videos of 2011. For now, though, I’m in the right place at the right time for My Country, the third video to be lifted from Merrill’s fantastic W H O K I L Lrecord and quite possibly the best.
Similar to the Bizness video, Garbus has once again employed a posse of wild-eyed, adventurous and downright adorable kids to follow along with all of the bizarre choreography and oddball nature of the video. One kid’s sole responsibility is to pop and lock; another’s is to sing into an unplugged microphone that’s drenched in water while wearing a raincoat. You’re getting the idea. It’s very primitive and very strange, but that’s all part of the tUnE-yArDs’ appeal. It’s a matter of expecting the unexpected, and going along with whatever insanity might pop up. I could gush on, but I’m going to let Merrill and co. speak for themselves. The kids are alright.