Sydney’s shimmering pop collective Tigertown will mark the onset of spring with a national tour in support of their new EP Wandering Eyes. The five-song release showcases a more accomplished band than on Tigertown’s two earlier EPs, partly due to their solidification as a five-piece ensemble. Co-vocalist/songwriter Chris Collins explains how the group’s consolidated understanding of what Tigertown represents allowed them to record the EP in a more organic manner.
“This is the first EP that we went in as a five-piece and all recorded together,” he says. “The first EP was just Charlie [Collins, the band’s other lead vocalist and songwriter] and me in our bedroom. The second EP was a similar thing, it came from the bedroom stuff but we were just working out different ways to do it. Because we’ve been touring so much over the last year, we felt like an actual band. It’s the first time that we’ve gone in the room and all recorded together.”
Wandering Eyes sounds more organised and premeditated than last year’s Before The Morning release, but conversely Chris suggests their experiences playing live made the recording procedure reasonably effortless this time around. “We sort of had to think about it less. All the songs came out of touring, so they’ve all been tried at gigs and we all knew what we were doing and we just went in and did it.”
Tigertown’s 2011 self-titled EP was created before they had determined the sort of band they’d like to become. The impetus to focus their sound came from the positive feedback directed towards radio single ‘Go Now’. “When everyone seemed to jump onto our song ‘Go Now’, that paved the way from there,” says Collins. “When we put those songs together originally, I think we liked all of them differently and didn’t think about a cohesive body. It’s sort of like the listeners chose what our sound was going to be.”
‘Go Now’ attracted the attention of triple j shortly after it was introduced to the public, giving the band’s fortunes a major boost. Collins admits the initial radio interest came as a surprise. “Charlie and I were both in bands when we first met and we were slightly getting over it. We started writing music we wanted to write and it was honestly for no-one else. When triple j played it pretty much straight away, it was a real freak-out.”
The national youth broadcaster holds unrivalled efficacy in helping bands build a fan base in Australia and Collins acknowledges how central the station’s support has been in their relative rise to prominence. “It’s amazing how much difference it makes if triple j play your music, because it goes all the way around the country. We always spin out when we get all the way over to Perth and people know our music.”
Despite realising how vital airplay is for perpetuating success, Collins insists Tigertown wouldn’t write music solely to fit the triple j playlist. “If you’re chasing what you think a radio station will play, you’ll end up sounding like a trend band and it will go out of fashion. Our dream is to write timeless pop music,” he says modestly.
The Wandering Eyes tour is Tigertown’s biggest headline run to date, evidence of the band’s growing appeal. Collins says recent support tours with Bob Evans and Bastille have strengthened their capacity to enthral larger audiences. “It feels like we’ve stepped it up in terms of venue size. Definitely doing the support tours helps so much. Playing to heaps of new fans all around the country has been a good build-up.”
BY AUGUSTUS WELBY
Tigertown plays Oxford Art Factory on Thursday September 5. Wandering Eyes out now through MGM. Appearing at BIGSOUND in Brisbane on September 11-13 and Festival Of The Sun in Port Macquarie on December 13-14.