PREMIERE | Tigers Are Bad For Horses, “Embers”

EMBERS artwork
I’m not typically a believer in traditional Chinese astrology. Although I’ve been sympathetic in the past to those who put stock in their Zodiac readings, that’s all about to end. As it turns out, tigers are actually supposed to be good for horses. This is the final nail in the coffin: the curtain has been pulled back and the fraud exposed.

In reality, tigers are bad for horses. This should be evident to the discerning observer with any common sense. In short bursts, tigers are actually faster than horses, and their claws would present a fierce test to any equine foe. But DC-based pop duo Tigers Are Bad For Horses do not expect their listeners to grapple with this dissonance. Their new single “Embers” reveals dissonance of another kind – jazzy seventh and ninth chords, lyrics tackling the paradoxical nature of love, slick production expressing expansive heights and subtle dynamics. It’s clear that TABFH are intelligent musicians from the outset of “Embers,” but their music is not self-congratulatory or pretentious. It’s danceable, challenging, deep, light-hearted, and free-spirited. Pitched vocals complement lively ride cymbals, snowballing into a wave that tidily swallows itself up.

Sonically, they seem influenced by the same type of source material as their Proper Vibes labelmates. Their palette spans from fluttering synth arpeggios to head-noddable basslines, from clean handclaps to jazzy piano licks. If those elements don’t sound like logical companions to you, you’re not alone. “Embers” is an etude in the juxtaposition and synthesis of competing ideas.

But the real aesthetic value that TABFH bring to the console lies in their willingness to take risks, in their ability to express themselves on their terms. In “Embers,” for instance, there is no discernible song structure. In eschewing the typical ABAB compositional style, TABFH are able to bring the listener along for an unconventional ride.

Cop “Embers” on the following outlets:
Spotify: http://bit.ly/EmbersSpotify

Apple Music: http://bit.ly/EmbersApple

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