Tune-Yards, the already-legendary Bay Area world-pop weirdos whose name is actually tUnE-yArDs but that style looks way better on album covers than in written articles, are sharing their new single ‘hypnotize’.
The song arrives as the first single and third track off their new album sketchy. If you are already familiar with the new-decade old band, then ‘hypnotize’ shouldn’t be anything unexpected: discordant synth bloops, drum breakdowns, death-adjacent metaphors. You get the idea. It’s still based around Merrill Garbus’ distinctive voice, which only seems to get stranger, and more fascinating, with time.
‘Hypnotize’, quite fittingly, makes a great soundtrack for falling into a trance. The twitchy rhythms and artificial drums and laid on a foundation of calming synths and comforting melodies. That is, at least, until the chorus reaches out and shakes you. Garbus begins to scream at you to look into her eyes. Everything goes from a murmur, a sweet nothing whispered into your ear, to a complete and overwhelming embrace. At that point, the hypnosis is fully under way.
Tune-Yards are a band that specialises in a certain kind of psychedelic experience. Their music is meant to take you to another place, put your own thoughts on trial, and visualise something beyond yourself. That can come in the form of abrasive noise, Caribbean rhythms, spoken word, or even the band’s seldom-used secret weapon: straight forward pop.
‘Hypnotized’ leans closest to the latter. It’s a magic trick meant to pull you into the depths where the more challenging music is. If you liked the off-beat rhythms and sounds of the band’s work on the Sorry To Bother You soundtrack, you’ll find plenty to like on sketchy. But ‘hypnotized’ the cheese in the mousetrap; the siren call to lure you in. It’s incredibly effective.
The band is closing in on the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough album, Whokill, which was released on April 19th, 2011. There don’t seem any concrete plans to celebrate, but nostalgia doesn’t really seem suited to the group’s ethos.
sketchy. is available to stream and purchase now. Check out the new video for ‘hypnotized’ below.