It’s hard to believe, but Miniature Tigers – based in Brooklyn by way of Phoenix – are just a few months away from releasing their fourth full-length album. The band’s come a long way – I mean, those guys played a show I put on nearly six years ago, so it’s been fun to follow their career arc, almost from the beginning.
Further proof of the band’s progression will reveal itself with the release of Cruel Runnings, an album recorded in Jamaica, due out May 27 on YEBO Music.
The first leak, “Swimming Pool Blues,” suggests Miniature Tigers still have a deep well of impeccable pop from which to draw. The way frontman Charlie Brand describes it, the song – aggressively upbeat and charming with its “yeah, yeah, yeahs” in the chorus – sounds like a welcome-back hug to his fellow bandmates and fans after a bit of time off:
“The stillness of home was a stark contrast to the craziness of tours that had left us in debt and doubting everything we had worked so hard for. This set the tone for a confusing summer where I stopped writing and stopped believing in what I was doing. Even though I had found some peace at home, I had built so much of my identity around the band, that adjusting to life outside of it was also proving difficult. I missed the weeks spent crammed together in a van with Rick, Algernon and Brandon.
“After a long summer we went on a tour that changed everything. Meeting so many amazing people every night reminded me how lucky I was to be able to play music and that I would happily live penniless for a lifetime if I could continue doing it. I came home rejuvenated and instantly wrote Swimming Pool Blues.”
Can’t wait to hear more of it. The band is setting off on a tour that starts Feb. 26 and includes a Phoenix homecoming on March 27 at Rhythm Room. Buy tickets here.
The show’s promoter, Psyko Steve, commissioned Tucson artist Joe Pagac to paint a mural on downtown arts venue Eye Lounge at First Friday. It was a collaboration with Tigers frontman Charlie Brand to help promote the album and show.
Check the time lapse video of its creation above, set to the new Miniature Tigers song “Afternoons with David Hockney.”
Now there’s a release date (March 6 on Modern Art), an album cover (above), a tracklisting (below) and another new tune (“Female Doctor”) as the New York-by-way-of-Phoenix band follows up on 2010’s Fortress.
Spin premiered “Female Doctor,” along with its (possibly NSFW?) cleave-teasing video that was spliced together from clips of Eastern European reality TV. As for the song itself, “Female Doctor” makes a grab for glam-pop, with its infectious synth lines and danceable beat.
Mia Pharaoh tracklisting:
1. Sex On The Regular
2. Female Doctor
4. Afternoons With David Hockney
5. Easy As All That
6. Flower Door
8. Ugly Needs
9. Angel Bath
10. Husbands and Wives
In July, Miniature Tigers celebrated the one-year anniversary of the release of their second full-length, Fortress, by releasing free demo versions of all the songs from the album.
Now we’re already getting a taste of a new album. On Monday, the New York-by-way-of-Phoenix band released a song, “Boomerang,” that it actually previewed in a turntable.fm session in late June. (Turntable.fm was so two months ago.)
There’s no release date for the album, Mia Pharaoh, but “Boomerang” – another catchy Mini T’s creation full of synthy flourishes – is a freebie that you can get at the group’s website (or below) for coughing up an email address. The site also has dates for a September tour.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the release of their second full-length, Fortress (July 27, 2010), Miniature Tigers are releasing demo versions of the album’s songs in three installments for free.
The New York-based band, by way of Phoenix (thank you very much), is unveiling them in sequence, so the first batch includes the first four songs on the album: “Mansion of Misery, “Rock N Roll Mountain Troll” (one of my faves), “Dark Tower” and “Gold Skull.” These are great sketches of the final songs — with sometimes trippy experimenting that the demo process allows. Loving the horn bridge (or are those kazoos?) on “Rock N Roll Mountain Troll.”
Thanks to the band for letting us in on these. Visit Miniature Tigers’ website or fork over your email address in the widget thingy below to get downloading.