Tigertown, are a band of brothers (and sisters) in every sense of the term. Lead singer, Charlie, and guitarist, Chris, are the clan’s chief songwriters and also a happily married couple, and each of them has also brought along two siblings to the group: Charlie’s sister Crystal on mandolin and vocals, with Kurt on drums, as well as Chris’ sister Elodie on bass and brother Alexi on keys.
“All of us have played in other bands before, but I think now I wouldn’t want to do it any other way; it seems to make more sense to play with your family. I think we’re lucky that each of our families have a good relationship independently, and even luckier that both families get along with each other,” Chris says.
“We have the normal tiffs and arguments you get in most bands, but the difference is that they get solved quicker because we’ve all grown up having disagreements, so we know how to deal with the situation quickly. Any personal issues within the band were worked out when we were 16, so it’s easier to just get on with the music. It even makes it more comfortable to travel together because we used to go on family holidays.”
Tigertown’s popularity has exploded since the group self-recorded its debut EP in Chris and Charlie’s apartment in June this year – gaining airplay on triple j and drawing praise from presenters Zane Rowe and Dom Alessio, something Chris says was unexpected at the time.
“When we were making the EP it was more of a demo to us because we were just doing it ourselves. Getting triple j play was something we had in our minds further down the track, but they just jumped on it straight away.
“We loved that we didn’t have radio in mind when we made it, as that meant that people had just naturally warmed to it. That gave us a lot of confidence in future songs – knowing that we could just keep doing things the way we were.”
The band is anchoring this success with its live presence, coming off the back of some high profile support slots with the likes of Husky, Matt Corby, Founds and Emma Louise.
“We’ve been really lucky to have had so many support shows. As a band it’s great to have the experience of playing in front of a sold-out room, which we wouldn’t otherwise get to do. We get to see how the set is received on a big stage, by a large audience. Also, it’s great to hang out with artists that we’re massive fans of and see how they operate.”
The origins of Tigertown’s sound firmly lies within the two songwriters’ relationship, both literally and musically, as it has been the marriage of the two’s contrasting musical backgrounds that has shaped the band’s warm, melodic tones.
“Charlie and her family grew up in Tamworth, so they have a lot of country influences, especially Johnny Cash and those kinds of songwriters, whereas I have more of a pop background and one of my major influences is, surprisingly, Michael Jackson. So those two worlds combining is where our sound starts.”
However, Chris notes that it is easy for bands to get pigeonholed as many of the alternative-folk acts that are saturating the indie scene at the moment, something Tigertown tries to avoid.
“Lately we’ve been looking a lot towards Fleetwood Mac, as they were a band doing a similar thing to us back in the day. We get called indie pop music, but it’s also quite acoustic based. We’ve definitely been trying to avoid the word ‘folk’.
“We’re touring until the end of the year and we’ve started demoing songs and talking to producers about doing the next EP. This will be pretty pivotal for us because it was unexpected for us to get the momentum from the first release that we did. Now we’ve been touring with the whole family, it’s become a bigger sound so it will be more band-orientated and less on the stripped-back folk.”