First, a little set up. The forecast going into our second Bands and Brews of the summer was...dicey. On the walk into the office, you could cut the air with a knife. Things felt combustible in the meteorology department and our collective anxiety was not helped by the warning of severe storms with 60+mph winds from our friends here at Industry City. Yet for most of the day we were hopeful. The stage was set. The lights went up. The bands arrived. It was downright beautiful...until it wasn't.
Around 4PM one wicked front rolled through NYC, bringing with it a wall of wind and biblical rainfall. The crew scrambled, tarping up equipment and batting down the hatch. We lost a tent, a guitar stand, and nearly a bass cab to a ferocious wind that seriously came out of nowhere. Some of us spent the lightning fast storm cowering under a tent on the stage hoping the amps that were currently sitting in a puddle of water were unplugged. It was wet and wild. It was actually kind of fun! And then the storm passed, clearing the way for one of those types of absolutely perfect nights the mind tends to return to this time of the year, when the temperature starts to drop and we all come to terms with the fact that swinter is coming.
Accompanying the perfect summer vibes that evening, euphoric Australian electro-pop outfit Tigertown rolled into Brooklyn, fresh off a long flight from the West Coast. Still, you wouldn't know it from our newest Bands + Brews Session (the first of two stemming from this performance that we'll be rolling out). The band came dressed to the nines and ready to rock songs from their Lonely Cities EP, as well as their recently released Papernote EP. As the band jammed their way through songs like "Golden Sky", "Make It Real", "Bullet From The Gun", and "Lonely Cities", the water colored backdrop bloomed dramatically as the sun slowly dipped into the Jersey horizon, making for perfect ear and eye candy.
The story of Tigertown doesn't play out like any other ordinary band. They weren't high school friends who bonded over the love of music and started covering their favourite punk tunes in their parents' garage, nor did they meet in the club over a glow stick and a love of beats. Instead, the bond these five musicians share runs much deeper than most, for they don't shake each other off at the end of a tour and head into a focused slumber with their respective loved ones. These five are family try to keep up co-lead vocalist Charlie and drummer Kurt are siblings as are co-lead vocalist Chris, bassist Elodie and key-player Alexi, but bringing the families together is the marriage between the united front of Chris and Charlie.
It's safe to say this marriage of songwriters is the main catalyst within Tigertown. When Chris and Charlie first showed each other initial tracks of what would eventually become their debut, self-titled EP, it was perfectly evident especially in songs like the effervescent 'Go Now' that this was going to quickly become a life-long love affair in music. Initial sessions, with the two families combining forces, naturally occurred and Tigertown, by name and nature, was born. A second EP Before the Morning quickly followed and spawned two singles, 'Lions & Witches' and the beloved radio-hit 'Morning Has Finally Come', extending the songwriters' muscle even further than before.
Together, the five were exploring the vast hinterland of shimmering, alternative and perfectly-executed pop unlike anything that was happening within the Australian music community. But it's clear, even by the band's own admission, that this familial bond is more present and stronger than ever on their third EP Wandering Eyes.
How is this even possible? Well, to get a firm grasp of this, you'd need to start with how Tigertown recorded Wandering Eyes. Firstly, they decamped to a private and humble getaway at the foot of the Blue Mountains where they tracked shoulder to shoulder the base of all five songs, very quickly, with AMP award-winning producer Liam Judson (Belles Will Ring, Cloud Control). The peaceful seclusion of their environment effortlessly placed them in the right headspace to attempt things they normally wouldn't, for example, they'd find themselves harmonising around the one microphone, rather than capturing each voice individually. From there, additional production was taken to Melbourne to the ubiquitous Steve Schram (San Cisco, Little Birdy, Little Red) who "added the lace" and brought the songs all the way to what you hear on the finished product.
The writing of the Wandering Eyes EP is a collaborative achievement of Chris and Charlie in its purest sense. Its lyrical themes traverse a range of worldly topics and influences, a trend of becoming more and more imaginative which began on Before the Morning and has encompassed Wandering Eyes entirely. Within these five songs, Tigertown certainly don't lean on the usual subjects tried and true there's a tale about a cowboy meeting a girl in a desert and a story of a woman who talks to her dead husband. Meanwhile, they've claimed ownership of their sonic-palette completely first single 'What You Came Here For' proves, once again, a dexterity for penning a radio hit one that unravels beautifully with each repeated listen while future-favourite 'Back In Time' and opulent opener 'Weary Eyes' both flaunt their world now a band trademark of dreampop, lavish harmonies and impeccably executed musicianship.
"It's pretty amazing!" Charlie confesses of not only being in a band with her husband and two tight-knit families, but also just how far they've come in a short two and a half years. "Of course we have fights but then we make up ten minutes later. But yes, it's hard to imagine a band being any other way now I wouldn't trade any of this for anything else."