Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Meet Father Tiger

Every so often, the stars are aligned and you are at the right place and time for something incredible.  In this case, I was ready to bring one of the most amazing bands into my life.  Now I know how corny that sounds but I when music is as big of a part of your life as it is mine, milestones can absolutely be measured in albums and artists.  There is an amazing New Wave revival happening right now and there are so many bands that are making incredible synth pop that will have a place in the music pantheon for years and years to come.  A band that has carved out a place in history is Father Tiger, an LA based band made up of Greg Delson and John Russell.  Not only do they create amazing synths and beats and melodies but the lyrics that are written are absolutely amazingly heartfelt and earnest.  Not one lyric sounds forced or out of place and when you listen to the songs you can tell that every song is painstakingly crafted and worked until perfect.  They've released 4 albums, one of which are some of the most amazing covers I've ever heard.  Greg's voice has the ability to take the simplest turn of phrase and inject so much emotion that you have to stop for a minute and just let everything process.  I am in awe at the level of talent these two men have and how effortless everything sounds.  People have drawn references to so many other artists, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Information Society and more but when it comes down to it; Greg and Russell are their own men and have created their own sound.  You can hear beat that makes you say, oh...that sounds like... but it's nothing more than paying reverence to those artists that came before.  I don't think they sound like any of those artists directly.

Their subject matter runs that gamut from first love to saying goodbye and everything in between.  The tracks range from upbeat that will have you dancing at first listen but when you go back and listen to them again, it's the intelligence and thoughtfulness that they've written into the tracks that give them staying power.  But then there are amazingly beautiful ballads and songs that speak to the human condition and the heart.  They've got two albums that are as different as Summer and Winter cleverly, the tracks mirror those seasons.

Vernal Equinox is fun and happy like the spring.  It's new and it's fresh like the world walking up again for another year.  But don't be deceived because the songwriting shines through the amazing brass and percussion.   These tracks just make you feel good all over and the come to a head with "First Love", a gorgeous song about that first time you know. No doubt in your mind, you just know.  But like all first loves, it comes to an end.  You look back at it realize how much work you put into it and see where you are at today and it kind of leads right into Winter Solstice.

Winter Solstice is a little bit heavier, a little darker.  The songs blow in like fresh snow and tend to be a little more on the melancholy side of the heart.  It's the necessary dichotomy that makes these albums coalesce in a perfect balance.  I have to say, this is my favorite of the albums right now because I am more able to relate to the feelings these songs bring up.  But don't think this album can't bring the heat.  It opens up with the gospel.  "Head Hung Low" will take you straight to church and make you testify.  I have to say that my favorite of all the tracks that have been released is "Still With Me".  It hits very close to home and I know exactly how the character in the song feels.  I identify with the song more than I have any song in a long time.  The way the chorus just comes out of nowhere and is just aggressive gives it so much of an edge.  "Done" is another gorgeous track.  The lyrics are just stunning.  The song is amazing.

E.P 1 and Summer Solstice are also beautiful albums and stand on their own merits and have tracks like "Right Now", "Shell", one of the most amazing covers of  "Set Fire to the Rain" I have ever heard.  I bought these albums last week and I've not stopped listening to them since.  It's very easy to see how they are going to stay in heavy rotation for a long time.  The only thing I'm sad about is that "High Road" isn't available for purchase.  Listen to that track, it's incredible - the demo and the acoustic version.  They've also generously donated proceeds from the purchase of their tracks, "First Love" and "Right Now" to Marriage Equality so that one day, we all can have the same protections under the law.

Go listen to their music. Go to their shows.  Buy their merch.  Go buy their music.  Support independent artists so they can keep making music.

Father Tiger on the Web
Twitter: @FatherTigerSays


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