Los Angeles husband-and- wife duo Tiger March have officially released their debut LP Hold Something. In advance of the release, the duo was featured at PopMatters, Atwood Magazine, The Wild Honey Pie, Earbuddy and more, with PopMatters calling Hold Something, "One of the key synthpop/chillwave records of the year." Hold Something is out now.
Hold Something—the intimate yet danceable debut LP from Los Angeles husband-and- wife duo Tiger March—is a shimmery indie pop narrative on love’s beginnings, ends, and in-betweens. The band, comprised of Annie Gleason (vocals and songwriting) and Matthew Gleason (production and songwriting), finds itself buoyed by the strength of its songs captured in their thoughtfully executed debut LP.
Tiger March formed in late 2014 after Annie and Matthew met via Craigslist, where both were searching for musicians with whom to collaborate. “We were a band before we were a couple,” Annie says. Album tracks like "Could You" locate the band’s romantic beginnings. What initially began as a long-distance collaboration turned to friendship and then love. “I was in San Diego at the time. I had been there for a number of years getting another graduate degree, then ended up landing a job there, and just kinda got stuck, hence the song 'Beach Cities’.”
Of that time, Annie describes an almost nightly songwriting schedule, songwriting the panacea for a broken heart. As Annie began sending her demos to Matthew, the songs became fuller and more defined as their sound began to take shape. So too did their partnership. Annie began making weekly treks up to LA to work on music with Matthew and, as she recounts, “I guess we just discovered that we loved each other. After a period of time when we were both available, it was like, ‘Oh I love you.’ ‘I love you back.’ It was cute.”
Hold Something was nearly entirely recorded and produced at the band’s home studio with vocals recorded with Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart, Silversun Pickups, Ben Gibbard) and Peter Novoa (Mister Heavenly, Slothrust) at The Ship Studio in Los Angeles. The album is anchored by standout track "Either Or", one of the more narrative and predominately retrospective songs on the album. As Annie describes, it is as much a reflection on love as it is a reflection of its landscape, and what you’re left with at its end. “It reminds me of a shimmery winter,” Annie says. “You walk out into remnants of an ice storm, but there’s a moment where you can see your breath in the air, and you realize you’re sad and you’re not with anyone.” Self-deprecating and candid, Annie goes on, “I wanted to write a song about things people say about love that are total shit. Why do they say ‘love is kind?’ Why do they say ‘love is blind?’ It’s neither.” Throughout the album Annie’s direct and unadorned vocals juxtapose Matthew’s ethereal and at other times danceable production and songwriting, creating a subtle, yet pleasing kind of tension that defines their sound.
While Annie’s background as a poet-- she studied at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing—lends lyrical depth to the band’s skilled pop hooks, Matthew’s time spent cutting his teeth in local indie pop and shoegaze bands has informed and driven much of the band’s distinctive sound. Meeting Annie, Matthew was inspired to completely rethink the way he approached music. Matthew explains, “I had to basically put my guitar down and force myself to learn Ableton. This challenged me to write and produce music in a new way, with production and songwriting efforts focused on layered synths, loops, and electronic drum sounds as opposed to reverb and distortion-drenched guitars. From a song structure point of view, we follow pretty basic pop structures. And that’s what we like—simple pop songs, but with an edge.”
Tiger March’s distinct sound and strong songwriting have garnered them radio play on Los Angeles’ Alt 98.7 Close to Home and U.K. station Phoenix 98’s “Synth City.” In 2015, the band released their EP Never Not Forever and has played live throughout the Los Angeles area to well-received audiences.