Premiere: Bad Tiger’s “New Growth” Is a Charming and Churning Indie Pop Reverie

Bad Tiger © 2023
Bad Tiger © 2023
Charming and churning indie pop coalesce on “New Growth” as Bad Tiger dive into life’s little moments of meaning and clarity, offering more questions than answers but nevertheless leaving us with a sense of purpose, place, and presence.
Stream: “New Growth” – Bad Tiger

Bad Tiger’s exhilarating new single is filled with potential and possibility.

A reflection and inner reckoning all in one, “New Growth” aches with heartfelt hope and existential dread. As with any inflection point, there’s a healthy dose of uncertainty, but that fear of the unknown is balanced out with a sense of security and self-knowing; of trust and faith; and of excitement for whatever comes next. Charming and churning indie pop coalesce on “New Growth” as Bad Tiger dive into life’s little moments of meaning and clarity, offering more questions than answers but nevertheless leaving us with a sense of purpose, place, and presence.

New Growth - Bad Tiger
New Growth – Bad Tiger
Nothing is simple right now.
I feel so small, I feel so small.

Not looking for protection
when I find my back against the wall.

What’s love without possession?
What’s love without a breaking point?

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “New Growth,” the second single of the year from Bay Area-based band Bad Tiger. The four-piece of Yasi Lowy (vocals/guitar), David Garges (guitar/synth/vocals), Tyler Gholson (bass), and Jacob Sherfield (drums), Bad Tiger have, over the past two years, introduced themselves as a source of dazzling energy and heartfelt passion: “”There’s an irresistible charm about San Francisco’s Bad Tiger and [their] candid, no-holds-barred brand of indie pop,” Atwood Magazine wrote in an artist feature on 2022’s debut EP, Sanctuary – going on to call the EP a musical refuge as well as “a pool of tender sonic wonder and inimitable DIY-esque indie pop light.”

Bad Tiger’s new music continues that disarming, easily lovable mix of the intimate and endearing: “New Growth” is layered in meaning, but as deep as its lyrics are, you don’t have to be an English major to appreciate the band’s enchanting musicality.

Looking around and I found structure
come from friction and inversion,

tetrissing universe of faith,
and water channels, and bad timing.

There was no promise made,
or held out into the empty spaces that lay about me…

‘Cause then there’s the fire, and then there’s
the new growth, and the water it requires.

“‘New Growth’ poured out of me really fast at a time when I really needed it,” Yasi Lowy tells Atwood Magazine. “I sat down and wrote the whole song in probably two hours. I tweaked a few lyrics afterwards, but it came out pretty much the way it needed to be. It’s also the first Bad Tiger song where the band co-created the arrangement before entering the studio, and so it feels like the most definitive ‘Bad Tiger as a band song’ yet. We filmed the video together while on tour out to Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho this past March. David researched all these beautiful spots along the route, so we’d just pull over on the side of the road, film a take, and hop back into the car and keep going. We just wanted to capture some of the energy of this moment we were having as a band, and the four of us can get so silly… It was super fun to stop everything and go play out in the snow.”

“Another thing I want to acknowledge is that ‘New Growth’ references a line in the short story, The Untold Lie by Sherwood Anderson, which I read as a teenager and which still comes to mind all the time for me. I think the story really masterfully holds the dialectical pulls of beauty and meaninglessness, freedom and inevitability.”

“Ray went out of the house and climbed the fence into a field. It was just growing dark and the scene that lay before him was lovely. All the low hills were washed with color and even the little clusters of bushes in the corners of the fences were alive with beauty. The whole world seemed to Ray Pearson to have become alive with something just as he and Hal had suddenly become alive when they stood in the corn field staring into each other’s eyes.
The beauty of the country about Winesburg was too much for Ray on that fall evening. That is all there was to it. He could not stand it. Of a sudden he forgot all about being a quiet old farm hand and throwing off the torn overcoat began to run across the field. As he ran he shouted a protest against his life, against all life, against everything that makes life ugly. ‘There was no promise made,’ he cried into the empty spaces that lay about him.”

For drummer Jacob Sherfield, “New Growth” holds a particularly special place in his own heart, as well as in Bad Tiger’s overall journey as a band.

“‘New Growth’ encompasses exactly what the title suggests,” he says. “This song came to the band at a time when I was going through extreme personal change. It became and continues to be an anchor point in my emotional memory of that time. The mixture of excitement and trepidation that comes with literal new growth in life is palpable through the different parts of the song but in an undefined way. I feel the song doesn’t try to answer any questions, but instead, allows the space to feel comfortable with the questioning, to understand that that’s just as much a part of life as anything else and can be met with openness instead of fear.”

“It moves like life in flux, a steady drive that builds and fades and changes shape but moves forward nonetheless. As Yasi said, it’s the first truly collaborative Bad Tiger track as well so there’s a whole aspect of communal creation associated with it for me. Getting to know these musicians in a new way around a song like this was such a treat and brought us much closer together, as musicians and friends. “What’s love without possession? What’s love without a breaking point?” is a line that comes to mind often. It challenges the ingrained relational constructs that are so prevalent in American and most Western culture, this idea of love (the big confusing parts of life) being met and expressed with rigidity and attempt to control instead of open curiosity and acceptance. There was no promise made, but maybe that’s the better path.”

Bad Tiger © 2023
Bad Tiger © 2023

From the thrilling highs to the moodier, downtempo moments of hushed introspection, “New Growth” aches in all the best ways.

Bad Tiger have crafted a song that can be the soundtrack to our own innermost ruminations, as well as a part of our next dance party. The band hit their stride in a mix of moody ruminations and sweet, soaring grooves that evoke a soul in the depths of its own self-discovery. Wherever you are in your own journeys, this song is sure to strike a meaning and moving chord.

Stream “New Growth” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

And if I’m on my knees, will you get what you want?
And if you get what you want, will I get what I want?
And if I say please, and say thank you a lot,
will it grow and invert into all I want?
What’s love without possession?
What’s love without a breaking point?

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:: stream/purchase New Growth here ::
:: connect with Bad Tiger here ::
Stream: “New Growth” – Bad Tiger

— — — —

New Growth - Bad Tiger

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