My Tiger My Timing - Celeste
London synth pop combo My Tiger My Timing are a riddle wrapped up in a mystery covered in a conundrum. How do you define their musical stew of quirky organic rhythms and danceable experimental hypnotic-pop? It transcends boundaries of genre and geography, defying categorisation and comparison.
On their self released debut album Celeste, a record nearly four years in the making, the unfathomable five piece don't make it any easier for us poor reviewers (aah I know your heart is bleeding for us). This is a band that defy the usual lazy musical comparisons. They sound exactly like themselves, like they are really comfortable in their own musical skin, which is somewhat unusual for a band on their first album. But, because lazy musical comparisons are the reviewer's bread and butter, I've tried to place their sound in some context and the best I can come up with is that it's a cross between an asexual, more downbeat British CSS, the kind of CSS you could introduce to your grandmother, and Warpaint at their most accessible. Does that help?
The album opens with the fluid, dark pop of 'Wasteland', a seemingly sweet pop song which slowly reveals a heart of darkness. Singer Anna Vincent demonstrates her impressive vocal range starting with some ear popping, glass cracking Enya like mezzo-soprano before moving on to the staccato, semi-robotic vocals of the chorus. The laid-back, chilled 'Written In Red', with it's jangling guitars weaving in and out of Vincent's dreamy vocals, enters territory recently commandeered by Warpaint and gives the American alt rockers a run for their money. 'The Gold Rush' heads straight for the indie dancefloor coming on like the Human League at their most populist. If you're not chanting "You do it false, you get it wrong" at night clubs and festivals over the summer of 2012 then you really need to get out more.
'Endless Summer' and 'Honest' are sunny, summery pop songs that are so sweet they should come with a warning from the British Dental Association. They sound like a candy-coated Cardigans dipped in hot fudge and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, they're that sweet. 'Your Way' closes the album and leaves you with a slightly empty feeling, a feeling of sadness that the album has come to an end. It's a lovely, gentle, electro pop song to end a lovely, gentle electro pop album.
Celeste has been four years in the making and it sounds like a greatest hits album, which is impressive for a band yet to have a hit. While the myopic record industry churn out homogeneous, production line fodder lavishing their money and attention on talentless celebrities and talent show puppets, promising acts like My Tiger My Timing are left to raise funds to release their own albums. Celeste is proof that you can't keep a good band down and that talent will win out in the end.