Label: 4AD Release Date: 8/02/10 Website: Official Site Capital letter misuse and shocking pink and yellow websites aren’t usually my preference when investigating new music, I must admit. Even on a good day, the first flash of fuchsia and I’m out. Fortunately, I heard tUnE-yArDs’ track ‘Real Live Flesh’ before I’d explored the artist’s online portfolio. tUnE-yArDs is the moniker of New England musician Merill Garbus, neither name easy to type out first time, believe me. The single Real Live Flesh is intriguing from the off, beginning with strange, off-kilter noises and distant percussion, followed by spasmodic licks of bass under difficult-to-decipher lyrics. Androgynous vocals get lost in the mix, every line sounding like a backing vocal, heavy with echo. Whatever is being said, it is sung as if in a dream, airy and soft around the edges: it is enticing and unusual. The vocal melody dips and arches through octaves, the mind carried along in the psychedelic repetition and minimalistic bursts of sound. The tune is catchy, especially in what seems to be the chorus, but not simple or unoriginal. Somehow, I expected the song to ‘start’ after about the first minute: I anticipated the vocals to suddenly come to the fore, the rhythms to change, maybe a blast of guitar to surge in and take over. Instead, for the full three minutes, the song stays true to its quirkiness, the vocals never freed from their reverb. It is by no means a bad thing, there being enough going on (especially in the rich, scattered bass line and many layers of graceful vocals) to sustain interest and appeal for a whole track. An album of tracks like this would lose me (unless I was on LSD at the time), but for one song, I think anyone could allow themselves to get lost in its pleasant ambiance. Rating: 7.5/10