tUnE-yArDs Goes ‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse’ in Splashy ‘Water Fountain’ Video
'Nicki Nack' arrives on May 6 via 4AD
Biography can be a misleading way to approach an artist’s music, but sometimes it helps. Merrill Garbus’ previous jobs as a nanny and puppeteer, and her time study abroad in Kenya, are helpful sign posts for getting into the colorful, theatrical, Africa-inspired sounds of her breakout album as tUnE-yArDs, 2011’s phenomenal w h o k i l l. The follow-up, editor-frustratingly titled Nikki Nack, will be here May 6 via 4AD, and she’s already shared the instrumentally uplifting, lyrically cutting “Water Fountain” and dreamily direct “Wait for a Minute.” The video for the former, directed by Joel Kefali, keeps up the track’s untrammeled resplendence and carries over the song’s happy-ominous contrast to a fitting thematic source — Pee-wee’s Playhouse, where the question was always whether this was really for kids or adults. Fun for the whole family?