POPSHOP NYC PRESENTS:
the Griswolds, Muna, Savoir Adore (DJ Set)
75 Clarkson Street
New York, NY, 10014
This event is 21 and over
The sound is important but nothing is more important than the feeling of the sound. When Charlie Brand (vocals, guitar) was writing the newest Miniature Tigers record, he looked to the sum of his musical influences for inspiration. "I wanted to make something like Weezer's Blue Album—not exactly the album, but the feeling of listening to that album at age whatever. Something with that feeling that could connect with people." That's how the band had started, after all: When he and founding member Rick Schaier (keys) connected over Myspace in the mid-'00s through their love of the same bands. After a few albums, they brought on Algernon Quashie (guitar) and Brandon Lee (bass) to complete the band.
The resulting record, Cruel Runnings, is something halfway between nostalgia and the ecstatic now, an album that yearns for the recent past while staring open-hearted at what the present dares to bring. Songs about swimming pools remembered on sticky summer nights, lovers meeting at discotheques, streets where you used to live. Let's just try to be as much of us as possible, Brand decided during the recording process. In that, Miniature Tigers have written a record that's eminently relatable, passionate but not without a healthy sense of perspective. Recorded in Jamaica with producer Chris Zane (The Walkmen, Passion Pit) the album sounds as freeing as the process felt. "There was just a different energy there, a different energy in such a relaxing environment," he says. "Everything came very naturally." That's fitting of a record where Brand wanted to capture the way a relationship—and through that, life—really felt. "Not necessarily something that was good and got bad," he says, "but the ups and downs of it."
The Griswolds' first bio simply read: "The chameleons of pop." That description holds true for the Sydney indie pop group, formed two years ago by singer/guitarist Christopher Whitehall and lead guitarist Daniel Duque-Perez, as they look to become a globally known act.
They self-recorded and released their debut Heart of a Lion EP in Australia during the fall of 2012 without actually having a band name yet. After a long late night conversation, the name The Griswolds came up through their mutual love for National Lampoon's Vacation film series and it stuck. The EP, a shimmering four-song collection of tropical indie pop numbers, immediately earned them notable accolades from press and fans alike was released in the United States on September 3, 2013.
They plan to expand their aesthetic on their debut album, which they will record with Tony Hoffer in LA in November 2013. It will be released in early 2014 and will showcase the band's growth since recording their EP. And now with the EP coming out in the States on Wind-up Records, The Griswolds have started thinking beyond making songs with no real intention. Everything, though, still goes back to the two guys who connected over a guitar riff.