Euphoric, sugary energies bubble over in expressive synthpop anthems on Tiger March’s debut album Hold Something, a journey of bright sonic swells and intense, dynamic emotions.
RIYL: CHVRCHES, Broods, vverevvolf
Synthpop’s freshest couple open their debut album with a confessional petition: “Hey hey, by the way, could you stay? I want to ask…,” sings Tiger March’s Annie Gleason, surrounded by the glowing sounds of her musical and marital partner, Matthew Gleason. A bubbling love song full of tension and hope, “Could You” sets a sweet tone for Tiger March as the duo embark on a journey of bright sonic swells and intense, dynamic emotions. “My hands are magic in your hands; this wasn’t what we planned, but if this is all that we have, are you scared to ask?“
Forming through a Craigslist post four years ago, Tiger March was a band long before it was a love story: Annie and Matthew connected over shared tastes in music and a desire to craft something unique together. Their debut album Hold Something, independently released 3/23/2018, is a bustling montage of moments and memories that capture their individual and shared emotional journey.
“In an album that charts love’s beginnings, ends, and in-betweens, Hold Something showcases the hopeful drive that sends us searching — even if at times misguided — for that someone or something to hold onto,” the band shares. “Hold Something is the album’s refrain, its reminder, and its imperative. Love — the search for it, the beginning, middle, and end of it — can be as shiny and shimmery as it can be dark and devastating, but you’re going to do it anyway because you have to and you should.”
One need look no further than the record’s self-titled lead single to fully understand this notion of love’s duality: A sweet invitation for romance and intimacy that finds Annie with arms and heart outstreched, the “Hold Something” is not about her husband; it’s about someone else she was seeing, before they took Tiger March to the “next level.”
let me count the waves
cuz i adore you
let me read into the stars
to know it’s true
do you wanna hold something…
that i have; do you wanna?
– “Hold Something,” Tiger March
“Half of the album was written when we lived in separate cities,” Annie Gleason tells Atwood Magazine. “I was living in San Diego for some time sending Matthew demos via email. I would write basic versions of the songs in Logic and Matthew would build on and rework the songs into their current forms in Ableton. It’s interesting though, when I think of our songwriting process, because everything else has gone through such a transformation for us except how we write our songs.”
The glitz of CHVRCHES and the pop of The B-52’s come together in Tiger March’s music, which manages to seep a little light into even the darkest moments. Euphoric, sugary energies bubble over in expressive synthpop anthems that dazzle our ears in just the same way that the band’s pink-laced album art mesmerizes our eyes. Experience the full record now, and dive deeper into Hold Something with Atwood Magazine as Tiger March go track-by-track through their debut!
:: Inside Hold Something ::
“Could You” is a song inspired by Matthew. I (Annie) sat down with an acoustic guitar one day early on in our relationship with the intention of writing a love song. “Could You” is a playful refrain that is both a question and a command. The song is one of our most feel-good, upbeat, dancey songs and it’s a favorite of ours to play live.
Missing It All
“Missing It All’s” large drum fills and resounding chorus give it an anthemic feel in contrast to its quiet subject matter. People are most often surprised to hear the song was inspired by a religious pamphlet left at Annie’s doorstep. “Missing It All” was the first song we did together where we felt like we found our sound.
“Either Or” is one of the more narrative and predominately retrospective songs on the album. It is as much a reflection on love, and the ending of it, as it is a reflection of the landscape it occupies. For Annie, the song begins in a shimmery winter and ends on the coast with fragments of memory and self left behind.
“Hold Something” was inspired by a guy who told Annie he didn’t like her music during a very romantic date. When Annie later told me about it, he wagered the relationship would last two months tops. Hopeful of yielding better results, Annie went on to a write a song about the experience. The song, as the only remains of that one month-long relationship, has served as the catalyst for many jokes.
I (Annie) left LA for about a decade and discovered friendships that I had counted on “being there” when I came back were essentially hollow. “Nobody” is that bitter and liberating conversation you have with yourself when you acknowledge history is no longer enough to sustain a relationship. The song started with music Matthew wrote. I added lyrics and melody thereafter. The guitar sounds are heavily influenced by Robin Guthrie’s Cocteau Twins sound.
I (Annie) dated someone for a long while who, after a trial of long distance and living together, essentially left over a holiday and never really came back. “Leaving,” was inspired by the many dead-end conversations we had about that act. It was one of the first songs Matthew and I worked on together and it was one of the first demos I sent him while I was still in San Diego trying to meet other musicians to collaborate with.
“Constellations” is about lust and love and going for it even if you think (or you know) it will end. It’s a bit of fatalism and hedonism bundled into one, which is why it’s one of the more rock-leaning songs on the album.
“Beach Cities” is a song about the confusing and evocative interchange between memory and sound. Matthew’s got this sound machine that makes me think it’s raining every time I (Annie) wake up. We also used to live right by a freeway—It’s remarkable how much a freeway can sound like the ocean, which both is and isn’t comforting given I’m fond of the ocean but not fond of beach cities. Having lived in San Diego for a number of years, I learned the hard way of how defining and unmovable that essential attribute really is: You either are or are not a beach person. There is no getting around this basic fact.
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📸 © Dexy Valentine