Australian band Tigertown roars into Clifton Park with new tunes

With fresh music in tow, Tigertown is embarking on a U.S. tour with St. Lucia this month. The Australian techno-folk band, comprised of family members of husband-wife duo Chris and Charlie Collins, will open for St. Lucia at the Upstate Concert Hall Tuesday, Feb 16.

Some of Tigertown’s earlier work calls to mind bands like The Head and the Heart or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, but their new EP is reminiscent of bands like Phantogram, Haim and Lucius.

Chris, Tigertown’s guitarist, and Charlie Collins, the band’s lead vocalist and synth player, just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. The couple decided to form a band with Chris’s brother Alexi on keyboard and his sister Elodie on bass. Both Chris and Charlie’s respective families had their own bands before deciding to join together.

Chris Collins said there’s something about playing with family that allows you to be on the same wavelength. “We’re used to fighting so we work things out quickly,” he laughed. Collins said he feels lucky to be able to travel with his wife.

Tigertown, which has been playing together for about four years, gained notoriety in the states at last year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, where they plan to play again in 2016. Tigertown has signed with Neon Gold, a record which boasts bands like Charli XCX. Their latest EP, Lonely Cities, was produced by BORNS’ principal collaborator Tommy English and debuted internationally Feb 5.

“We walk around all we hear is the sound of lonely heartbeats, and when we dance all we feel is the beat of these lonely cities,” sings Charlie Collins in their latest EP’s title track, Lonely Cities. The full EP was released internationally Feb 5. Collins explained the song was inspired by a friend who was struggling with a long distance relationship.

In their synth-heavy track “Bullet from the gun,” Charlie Collins sings “I’m burning up. You can’t take the fire from the sun. Try all you want, you can’t take the bullet from the gun.”

Chris Collins explained how the song originated from frustrating moments in the writing process. “We’d been doing a lot of writing on the record and felt like we weren’t really getting what we wanted to say out,” he said. This song, “Is about that thing inside you that you want to get out. ”

Chris Collins said he first began tinkering with the violin at age five and eventually transitioned to guitar. He said Charlie, who grew up listening to Hank Williams, played her first show in an Australian pub when she was 11 or 12.

While Charlie grew up listening to country crooners, Chris is partial to the likes of Michael Jackson. If he could tour with any musician in history, he said he would pick the Prince of Pop.

Chris Collins said the music the band has been listening to on tour is actually music they listened to in their youth. “We’ve gone back to the music we listened to growing up. Michael Jackson is a big influence creatively,” he added. Janet Jackson, Phil Collins and Fleetwood Mac are also in their music rotation. “We’re going back to the music in mom and dad’s record collection,” he laughed.

Tigertown isn’t listening to the oldies, exclusively, however. They’re big fans of Daniel Johns, an australian musician, and BORNS, an indie-pop artist from Michigan famous for songs like “Electric Love” and “10,000 Emerald Pools.”

Collins said Tigertown’s writing process is collaborative but added it generally begins with him and Charlie.

He said the band is “super excited” to be releasing an EP in America for the first time” and is eager to hear what people think of their work. Tigertown, which hasn’t yet released a full-length album, hopes to do so by the end of this year.

The band’s February tour features shows in Boston, Clifton Park, Washington D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia.

While this won’t be their first visit to the states, Collins said “We’re still getting used to the cold.”

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