[sic] Magazine

Tiger Lou – Acts

“We waited so long to let go”

Swedish group Tiger Lou was formed in 2001 by Rasmus Kellerman. Acts is their fifth long-player but only the second since a lengthy hiatus circa 2008. They are not an especially easy act to classify. Perhaps that’s a good thing? Tiger Lou make melancholic, melodic alt rock with a dash of angst rock, emo and even dreamier elements. For shorthand we could place them somewhere between Radiohead and American Football.

On their previous opus, The Wound Dresser Kellerman explored various themes of ‘returning’ – namely to the scene of a heartbreak, to his hometown, to his band… etc. It was both a literal and figurative ‘comeback’ album and the results were dazzling. (See albums of 2016, via the link below) Acts is a departure from The Wound Dresser, both musically and thematically. There’s a looseness to the arrangements and even the structural sequencing of the album. I detect progressive leanings. Not the classic, Pink Floyd-era prog – Acts isn’t OK Computer. Think more along the lines of Danish neighbours Mew. Sure, Kellerman sings in a whole other register to Jonas Bjerre but his music has a comparable freedom and lightness of touch. Promotional release ‘Runaways’ is a good example of this as is ‘Figures’ or even the fake ending to the fabulous ‘Shitty Bushes’.

“Rising like ash/falling like rain”

Acts is also a sensual record. Yet underneath the silk glove lies a fist of iron. Kellermans lyrics will leave you devastated if you give the man even half a chance. Musically there’s heft too in the form of ‘Paloma’, a muscular rock workout reminiscent of The God Machine. Favourite moments? The aforementioned ‘Shitty Bushes’ has to be right up there. ‘Runaways’, and ‘Send The Bill’ also. Yet I keep coming back to the electro stomp of first single, ‘End Times’ with its fabulous polysynth call-out.

I wish other territories would sit up and take notice of Tiger Lou. There’s something important here- something vital. It’s in Kellermans honesty. I know on an instinctive level that this guy is ‘for real’. Adrian Borland, Kyle Durfey, Robin Proper-Sheppard, Scott Hutchison……certain artists just have that quality where you aren’t listening to artifice, you’re listening to them – body and soul. Kellerman is one such. When a new release drops the rest of my music collection, briefly, doesn’t matter. I just want to listen to Tiger Lou. Acts may be a slow burner of an album but it rewards any listener who lets it gently unfold. It is arguably Kellermans In Rainbows, a record that will need time and reflection before being fully understood.

Hopefully I’ll catch this band live somewhere in the very near future.

Albums of 2016

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