Merrill Garbus, who records and performs under the moniker Tune-Yards (sometimes tUne-YaRds, but cOmE oN), opens her new album Nikki Nack with "Find a New Way," which sums up the task she set for herself on this, her third album. Considering that the songs on her previous album, w h o k i l l, were built largely around vocal loops, drums, and distorted ukulele, she could have continued in the same vein without much fear of anyone else treading on her turf. But she pushed forward all the same.
That push continued with her show at Union Transfer Sunday night. The band behind Garbus has increased by only one member since her last go-round, but the scope of her music has expanded dramatically. In 2011, she fit snugly into Johnny Brenda's; this time, the much larger Union Transfer seemed almost too small. Following the mantra of "Find a New Way" ("Change-o, strange-o, 'nother rearrange-o,"), the songs shifted and mutated as she stretched them well past their recorded lengths.