Impartiality be damned. There are few experiences as exciting as coming across a band in their artistic pubescence only to watch them quickly gain the attention that you believed they deserved from their debut release. I have been and currently am experiencing something like this with the Sydney based five-piece, Tigertown. Many aspects of their musical expression has evolved since I saw them at The Vanguard in mid-‐2011 as a support act but the bones have not shifted; wonderfully written melody driven songs with fantastic vocal harmony are as present on their latest EP Wandering Eyes as it was on their first.
The vivid difference between their first EP TiGERTOWN and Wandering Eyes seems to be that someone has invested in them - a person who I owe an appreciative high-five. While professionally produced and polished songs were a part of their first and certainly second EP with songs like ‘Go Now’, ‘Just Too Used To You’ and ‘Lions and Witches’, their latest released has set the bar high and maintained it across all five tracks.
This is not to say that the songs in between these radio-ready examples were gaps in quality. ‘Still Breathing’ as one example was a minimalistic and raw recording that showcased the group’s song writing ability, which has served as one of the many catalysts for their musical advancement to date.
The lyrical material continues to serve as the musical equivalent to a warm blanket on the latest release with profoundly charming lines like ‘Come Mr. Weary, we’ll let go of what you’ve done; heavy on both our hands. I know a place where your secrets are safe; it’s like home in another land.’ What’s best about lyrics like these is that they do not stand alone and are one of many sound examples of the quality and consistency with which Tigertown produces grin-inspiring lyrical material.
The aggressive introduction of electronic instruments and post-production effects on some of the latest tracks perfectly aligns the quality of the sound being produced to the quality of the song itself which is something that was previously not always the case. The first track off Wandering Eyes for example opens with a strong synth pad as an electronic drone that the multi-tracked and dripping-with-reverb vocal harmonies use as their harmonic centre for the entirety of the song.
The amount of post-production work on the vocals has dramatically increased importantly not in the form of auto-tune. Delay, echo, reverb and panning are all used liberally to heighten the already exceptional lead vocalists Chris and Charlie’s well synched and suited voices.
It is blatantly recognisable that a stellar effort has been put in during the recording process based on the listenability (not a real world) of the results.
The one initially difficult to identify aspect to the new EP that has sold it for me is the rhythm. The drummer, Kurt continually sets up an unpredictable snare pattern that later proves to brilliantly and precisely situate itself amongst the vocal accents and nowhere is this more noteworthy than in Wandering Eyes finest three and a half minutes, ‘What You Came Here For’. All the aforementioned supremely enjoyable musical characteristics of this group seem to converge on this song’s chorus that gets a well deserved and much appreciated quadruple delivery. The syncopation of the chorus’s vocal line matches precisely the accents within Kurt’s cross-stick pattern giving the overall feel an exhilaratingly choppy and undeniably danceable vibe.
In short, Tigertown’s latest EP Wandering Eyes is as uplifting as the heroic-triumph film for which it will inevitably provide the soundtrack. There are moments whilst listening to it where it is genuinely difficult to not picture yourself running through fields of wheat toward a long lost love or starting line to a race you later win…in slow motion. Who says I can’t be enthusiastic? Impartiality be damned.
Listen and watch Wandering Eyes’ finest three and a half minutes, ‘What You Came Here For’:
Starting next week you’ll be able to catch Tigertown across parts of Australia as they hit the road for their national ‘Wandering Eyes Tour.’ Check out the poster below for all of the dates then head over to their official tour page for further details.