Fri 16 Mar 2012
Fix It With Funk
From the comfy confines of bedroom pop, once simple-indie-ode purveyors Miniature Tigers have graduated to slick, funky pop the likes Phoenix might proffer, on their latest album Mia Pharaoh. We first wrote about them in 2009 – almost three years ago – when they were mainly a two-piece drumming up hype for their Wes Anderson-like all-American pop. Since then they’ve morphed into a modern amalgamation of catchy indie pop merged with the occasional hip hop-style beat, retro-electro synths and funky bass with twinkling optimism thrown in for good measure.
No longer stepping on Ben Kweller or Adam Green’s territory, this groovy new sound suits the band perfectly. It’s a massive step up from their shuffling, slightly shoe-gazing pop that originally stole my heart with its innocence. On Mia Pharaoh the band sounds like they’ve been around the block and had a few gritty experiences. Totally simple but exemplary basslines groove and glide over light-as-air vocals on the suggestive ‘Female Doctor’, and on other songs they even seem to segue into Scissor Sisters’ oddly high-pitched upbeat kitsch (‘Sex on the Regular’), but in my mind do it infinitely better with unbelievably catchy synths and slightly sick vocals. Consequence of Sound said, “Frontman Charlie Brand studied the likes of The Dream, Kanye and Katy Perry and this change in inspiration is most apparent here.”
Mia Pharaoh still utilises the band’s trademark fantastic vocal harmonies and sophisticated melodies (proof is in the amazing ‘Boomerang’), but with added funk. It’s not over the top or cringe-worthy – somehow they’ve tapped into the trend of retro-gazing while adding a modern element. The best thing about them is their catchiness and the mystery of how they pull it all off so seamlessly with totally amazing, celebratory vibes.
Mia Pharaoh came out last week via Modern Art, a label that was set up specifically to release them! Go to the band’s website for a free download of ‘Female Doctor (Algemix)’. Miniature Tigers are on tour now in the US – go to their shows if you’re lucky enough to be there!