On Monday, amongst the post-Grammy hangover, the debate over who the f*@$ The Arcade Fire are and news of an impending Radiohead album.
Oakland California’s tUnE-yArDs (yes, that is how you spell it, and who some may know from a recent Blackberry Torch ad) officially released the first track (Bizness) off their upcoming album, w h o k i l l.
There’s something very raw, organic and genuinely affecting about this one, so much so that the only way I can really describe it is to take you on a bit of journey through the song itself…
You’ll probably want to listen along while you read…
I imagine Bizness was recorded live, in some fictional north-African republic where midi cables hang from towering palms like jungle vines and love is an oppressive dictator ripe for the overthrowing. If you were there to witness this session for yourself it would have probably gone something like this:
It’s early morning. It’s hot. You’re hacking your way through tangled bushes of discarded guitar strings while the synth-birds twitter and coo as they float through the steam-filled air. As the sun crests, distant drums start to clatter and a sudden chill rushes up your spine upon hearing a guttural cry of :
“If IIIIIIIIIIIII represent the one who did this to you…”
You’re suddenly scared, exhilarated and hypnotized all at once. You soldier on until you reach a clearing where stands Merrill Garbus, clothes tattered, eyes circled with tribal blood-red paint, shaking and flinging her exhaltations at the sky.
Is this a fevered dream? It feels like such a private moment of confession you wonder if you should stand there and watch, but then the bass hits.
Your legs slowly melt, knees start to bend, head starts to bob and you find yourself mouthing the chorus:
“Don’t take my life away, don’t take my life away”….
You step in to the clearing and lock eyes with Garbus who reaches towards you, grabs your wrist and pulls you in to dance.
You’re not used to this kind of thing, it’s all a bit unfamiliar — horns strike up from out of nowhere to give you some comfort and you’re now in the throws of deep hip sways and remembering every lost love who has screwed you over, your mantra:
“What’s the bizness yeahhhh…from the distance yyyeeahhhh….I’m the victim yyyeeahhhhh….don’t take my life away, don’t take my life away…”
That’s the magic of tUnE yArDs – their ability to draw you in, pull you out of your head and connect you with the pure and primal.
Don’t ask questions, just let it out, scream it, dance it and feel absolved.
If this one is any indication of the ones to follow it’s going to be a steamy spring, as ‘whokill’ will be released on April 18th on 4AD.
You can download the track bizzness here.
And here’s a live version of the song, performed at Toronto’s Soundscapes records last June.