marriage records
Release date
19 Mar 2009
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 For You 1:49 44,969
2 Sunlight 3:46 60,655
3 Lions 4:58 33,323
4 Hatari 5:38 38,783
5 News 3:23 34,694
6 Jamaican 3:53 29,026
7 Jumping Jack 3:15 31,473
8 Little Tiger 4:58 29,911
9 Safety 4:36 24,920
10 Fiya 5:27 33,533
11 Synonynonym (Digital Only Bonus Track) 3:48 1,615

About this album

Released on June 9th 2009, Bird-Brains is Merrill Garbus’ debut album under the moniker “tUnE-yArDs”. It was self-released by Garbus and was recorded using only a handheld voice recorder and mixed through “Audacity”, a free open source program.

The album incorporates many different musical sounds including jazz, hip-hop, rock and electronic and is heavily influenced by African and world music as Garbus travelled around the world prior to the record to collect differing musical sounds. Garbus also makes heavy use of the ukelele as the lead instrument, as well as using home-made sampling and drum loops on the album.

Garbus’ uses strange sampling techniques throughout the album, such as children eating blueberries on the opening track “For You”, to the sound of coughing used as the percussion on “Jamaican”. Garbus also showcases her instantly recognisable voice on the record with its New England drawl and fluctuating pitch.

When Garbus signed to 4AD in July 2009, the album was released again in a remastered edition, done at Abbey Road Studios in London and included two new tracks: “Want Me To” and “Real Live Flesh”.

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