The woman behind the funky, unclassifiable tUnE-yArDs habitually yodels, shrieks, and delivers lines in tossed-off, gossipy scoffs. But for "Doorstep," off this year's w h o k i l l, Merrill Garbus just coos. And it's lovely.
Which is weird, because she's embodying a woman scorned. "Policeman shot my baby crossing right over my doorstep," goes her mantra. We don't get much backstory: just that she loved her man very much, and that "his trouble came from looking out for all the rest." She's a "peaceful, loving woman," and yet can't resist cursing God for what's happened. But instead of fury, we get Garbus's airy trill and a bridge of girl-pop sha-na-na's. The looped drums patter hesitantly, the bass-line drifts upward like a question. It's the sound of dumbfounded reflection--the ceaseless but somehow comforting reenacting that follows loss.
On iTunes: tUnE-yArDs / "Doorstep"
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.