|Featured Band (2): Tigers That Talked Tours Album (And Does Math Homework)|
|Written by DJ Space|
|Tuesday, 02 November 2010 23:00|
Steve Lamacq of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music described this group as his "new favourite band" and said he is "waiting desperately for the Album.” On Monday, Tigers That Talked offically released single "23 Fears (Summer ’10)" and a new video directed by Rudy Riveron-Sanchez of AlmostFilm Productions. As the band embarks on a UK tour, its first albumThe Merchant is set for release next Monday, November 8.
Tigers That Talked start touring in support of its debut album this week. "We’ve worked hard at making sure all the key elements of the tracks are there in our live shows," singer-songwriter, frontman, and guitarist Jamie Williams (27) told 4ortherecord earlier this year.
Tigers That Talked are a four-piece art/folk rock band making original music in Leeds, England. Managed by Richard Jones of Key Music Management (Manchester and New York), the band has released three singles through Bad Sneakers Records and is now set for its first album release. "We met Bad Sneakers when we were starting out and instantly felt that they got what we were trying to do and where we wanted to go. They’ve been great in how they have let us develop in the directions that we wanted to go in," Williams said. "It wasn’t until we released our first single through the label that we got played on Zane Lowe [BBC Radio 1] and were Lamacq’s record of the week."
Talking about The Merchant, he commented, "We recorded and mixed the album with Adam Noble, who has worked with Guillemots and Bassment Jaxx. We did a session with Adam last summer and were really blown away by the results, so he became a natural choice to record the album."
The band was formed by Williams in 2006, who lines up with Owain Kelly (bass, 25), Glenna Larsen (violin, 26), and Chris Verney (drums and percussion). Williams hails from Leamington Spa. Larsen is from Brecon in Wales and the band's biography describes her as half-Norwegian. "We came together through friends and began playing house parties around the city straight away," Williams continued. "We wanted to do something a bit different, so instead of getting a lead guitarist we brought in Glenna on violin and put it through an effects rack."
The Leeds quartet named themselves after a 1968 novel. "The name was inspired by a book called ‘In Watermelon Sugar’ by Richard Brautigan," he explained. "In the book there were tigers that sat by a river playing beautiful music, before coming into a village and eating this kid's parents and then helping him with his math’s homework."
The band creates multi-layered, intensely beautiful music. "I like to experiment with different genres and forms of songwriting as opposed to being restricted to one sound or style. I guess we take a lot of inspiration from loads of bands and artists," Williams said in a 2009 interview with Culturedeluxe. "I love bands like Sigur Rós and Radiohead because they inhabit their own place that is unique to them and we want to try and do that with our music."
Focused around Jamie’s vocals and Glenna’s effect-adorned violin, Tigers That Talked creates music that the band's biography quotes as sounding "vaguely of a piece with recent bands but not really immediately fitting in as The Next… anyone. There’s hints of the Cure, Arcade Fire, Elbow and Ryan Adams.” Williams told 4ortherecord, "Those have all definitely been influences on us at some point. I think the main thing about those four artists is that they have created their own worlds of music and operate completely within their own space."
He said, "Our sound is pretty dense and expansive but also very direct; we’re big fans of the cinematic sound of composers like Ennio Morricone but we also think that there is a lot to be said for simplicity. We want the song to be the focus."
A little more Spaghetti Western than folk rock? "We started out a bit more folk orientated and linear in our sound, a bit more traditional I suppose. We always wanted to create rich sound and as we went on we moved further into effects and using string arrangements to give our sound more scope," he continued.
"We’re coming from quite different places individually; some in the band come from a more classical background for instance [Larsen is also a member of an occasional Celtic folk/bluegrass band called Pretty Polly's Beard]. The influences that we share a love of have probably been the most important; artists like The National, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Joanna Newsom, etc. are one’s that we take influence from," he added.
Combining pop hooks with the romanticism of folk, the band creates a genuinely fresh British sound. “Masters of the slow brood, ebb and flow with filmic elegance, swaying between maudlin melodrama and frenzied, multi-layered crescendos,” NME said.
"When we were forming we wanted to do something different to the standard four pieces of two guitars, bass and drums. Glenna puts her violin through a huge effects rack, so she can make her violin sound like almost anything we want, be it an orchestra, a guitar, a voice," Williams told Culturedeluxe. "It brings us a lot of scope and versatility whilst also having the option of a more traditional violin. We also record a lot our stuff with a string section to accompany her, giving us even more possibilities."
An example is "Bracelet," a track which is available on the band's official website. The haunting melody of "Bracelet" can be listened to here.
"I write the foundations of the songs alone and then bring them to the band. We then spend some time tearing them apart and putting them back together in a more interesting form," Williams told 4ortherecord.
Williams is the band's lyricist. "I take a lot of inspiration from trying to communicate feelings and atmospheres that are experiences that haven’t been discussed in other songs, films or books. I find some of the most powerful moments in art are when something is focused upon that everybody has experienced at some point but thought it was completely unique to them, before realising that actually it’s a far more communal experience."
A stark example of this can be found in the album's title track, which describes a mundane life of eating, working, and sleeping, and addresses diverse experiences from eating convenience foods to getting on the wrong train. "The Merchant" can be listened to here.
"I'm eating out of plastic
The band's first single "23 Fears" was released in December 2008, followed by the Black Heart, Blue Eyes EP in May 2009, and "Artificial Clouds" in October 2009.
"23 Fears" became Steve Lamacq's Record of the Week. The song has been updated and released as a new single to promote the debut album. A popular number in song-writing, the "23 Enigma" was first identified by American novelist William S. Burroughs, author of "Naked Lunch." The 2008 video can be viewed on YouTube.
The EP Black Heart, Blue Eyes is an eclectic collection of tracks which showcases the band's diverse talents and abilities. "We wanted to document a number of styles and influences, so as to not limit ourselves too much," Williams told 4ortherecord. The video of "Black Heart, Blue Eyes" can be viewed on the band's website and on YouTube.
"Artificial Clouds," a love song, was well received by critics. “This is such a good record... the most played single at Lamacq Towers right now... if you give it three listens, it’ll give you a lifetime of love,” Steve Lamacq said. The Sunday Times described the single as “a shimmering, violin-flecked pastoral pop beauty.” The video of "Artificial Clouds" can be viewed on the band's website and on YouTube.
The band has also received UK airplay on BBC Radio channels through DJ's Zane Lowe and Colin Murray, and on XFM through John Kennedy and Jon Hillcock (now NME).
"We’re strong believers in that if we do something good people will discover it and be into it," Williams added.
Download “23 Fears (Summer ’10)” and place a pre-order for The Merchant, released Monday.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:41|