Sydney alt-pop four-piece Tigertown have just completed a whirlwind tour of the country in support of US rockers and buddies, Panic! at the Disco.
Since the release of their second EP Papernotes late last year, guitarist Chris Collins and his song writing partner (and wife) Charlie, have devoted any downtime to penning Tigertown’s story. “It’s been a dream for us to release an album for a really long time, and now that it’s almost done we can’t wait to share it.
“The songs that feature on the EPs were written at the very beginning of the process – in fact we only released the EPs to keep people interested,” he says. “Hopefully when people listen to the EPs and the album together, the music will ramp up naturally because that’s how they were written and recorded.”
As we are introduced to more of Tigertown’s homegrown indie stylings, it’s obvious that the four friends share a familiar kind of ease, creatively and on stage. Collins says it’s a bond that comes from playing music together for years, coupled with the fact that bass player Elodie is his sister, and his brother Alexi plays keys. “We’ve always played music together and we spent a fair bit of time together working on the album in LA last year.
“We tend to release a lot of our own music, but we met a guy there called Tommy English who worked on Lady Hawke’s record (Wild Things, 2016) and the new BØRNS album (Dopamine, 2015). We became really good friends and ended up living in the same suburb,” Collins says. “But there’s a big chunk of it that was done at home as well.”
Home for Tigertown is the laidback beach suburb of Cronulla on Sydney’s south coast. “We love it – you’ll always find us having one or two beers on the beach,” he says. “Although working on the album takes up most of our time.”
Despite Collins’ friendly relaxed demeanour and Tigertown’s ability to produce blissful-sounding tunes, he admits to feeling the pressure that goes hand-in-hand with a debut release. “It’s scary because it’s something so big. We thought we’d finished the album about six months ago, but we keep tweaking it. The label gave us a deadline for mastering. Now that we’ve been given a date, that will be it, or I think we would keep tweaking it forever.
“I was working on a piano part to send back over to the States. It’s influenced heavily by where we live and also our time in LA. It has definite summer vibes so it helps that we can be here in summer – and when it gets colder we follow the sun.”
It was on a trip to the other side that Tigertown met, impressed and eventually signed with New York’s hottest alternative label Neon Gold, owned by Derek Davies and MS MR’s Lizzy Plapinger. “We’re really good friends with Lizzy – we got to hang out with her and Derek a lot,” Collins says. “We wrote a song with Lizzy for the album. She’s been a really big supporter of us and we’ve been really thankful for that. We got to write and record with a lot of the friends we’ve made over there and Lizzy is definitely one of them, but I don’t want to say too much more”.
In the meantime catch Tigertown while you can. “Throughout February we have a couple of little festivals which we’re really excited to do. We’ll be at the Grampians Music Festival and a couple of other things. I think the next tour will be in the States, which will probably coincide with the release of the album –it’s all about the album. Everything is being put into place, so it will be very busy for us. But we’re at the point where we realise how much we love what we’ve done, that’s the main thing for us now and it’s a big weight off our shoulders. Now we just hope everybody else loves it.”
When & Where: Grampians Music Festival, Halls Gap – February 24 – 26
Written by Natalie Rogers