Review : My Tiger My Timing - Celeste
BbcNew Cross outfit My Tiger My Timing have been liberally classified, among many styles, as “tribal electro”, as a “south London Gang Gang Dance”, with a broadsheet advancing this comparison.
Thing is, while GGD is an outré experimental NYC act known for polyrhythmic discordance, MTMT bears little resemblance beyond a female vocalist and synths in the line-up. Celeste is breezy, summery, inoffensive pop, albeit with some melancholic turns as the British summer can well provide.
Wasteland, a languid minor-key synth-pop plodder, is perhaps ill-advised as an opening statement of intent. Things pick up immediately though with Written in Red, the album’s second single, which sounds a bit like Happy Mondays’ Loose Fit enlivened by an infectious dancehall groove.
Current single The Gold Rush follows, a buoyant effort comparable to Gary Numan’s Metal. Here, singer Anna Vincent’s warm vocals – backed by harmonies from guitarist brother James – are more redolent of Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell than any Yoko Ono experimental stylistics one might have anticipated. MTMT could be likened as much to Etienne’s electronic alt-pop as to the more contemporary Hot Chip, who actually produced some of their material, and Metronomy, who they’ve supported on tour.
The defining moment on Celeste is Endless Summer. The track’s video sees the band frolicking in a park with water guns and Frisbee while Anna sings: “School is out, all I want is endless summer.” Its unashamed hooky poppiness represents Celeste’s zenith, with the final few tracks barely qualifying as b sides, drifting to closure like the disappointing end to most English summers....full text
ThelineofbestfitNew Cross trendies they might be, but quirky new wave pop quintet My Tiger My Timing actually seem rather down to earth. After a flurry of singles championed and/or produced by names such as Andy Spence (Of New Young Pony Club) and Kitsuné, Celeste, their debut, has proven a hard-fought DIY affair, self-released on their Snakes and Ladders label.
MTMT’s sound to the uninitiated is best described as a fey, guitar-led electro pop in a similar milieu to Gang Gang Dance (in their more cheerful moments) and Le Corps Mince de Francois. Female vocals, soft synths and cogent lyrics, they all find apt expression here.
Celeste is a wisp of an album, a cool, melancholy breeze the more refreshing for its accessibility. Tracks such as ‘Written in Red’ are infectiously put together, shimmering guitars weaving in and out of laconic lyrics, and, like ‘The Gold Rush’, are minimalist in the sense that they’re stripped of everything not utterly imperative to a great pop song. ‘After School’ is more introverted; a tender melody and evocative harmonies make it a real stand out and a rare change of dynamic.
This is definitely music to be shared with friends. Driving around with the windows down, or blaring from the speakers at a house-party, it speaks of making memories and living in the moment. To this end, ‘Celeste‘ is a top-heavy and steady ride, which means no real sense of crescendo and a bleeding together of tracks, despite them mostly being quite lovely in isolation. The kind of album perfect for sticking on shuffle then, evincing MTMT’s conservative nature – understandable for a relatively well-hyped debut.
Ultimately, it could benefit from some variation, within and across the ten songs and 37 minutes, but at that it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome. ‘Celeste’ is a charming, yet slightly nervous start four years in the making, and one I know I’ll be coming back to for some time. It’s always risky to wait so long but for My Tiger My Timing it’s paid off; ‘Celeste’ definitely has (nice) legs....full text
ArtrockerIf you’ve been within 30 miles of a Kitsuné compilation in the past three years, you should already be up to speed with My Tiger My Timing’s style. If you’ve somehow avoided the compilation’s blast radius, then their new album offers you the perfect reason to jump on board. Here’s why...
‘Celeste’ successfully captures the essence of summer in musical form – and not in a kitsch “let’s quickly cash in on this week of sunshine” way, or the faux-Beach Boys style that rose to prominence several years ago either. The album oozes warmth throughout, melding shimmering guitars and lush keyboard tones with the vocal equivalent of a light summer breeze. The woozy, almost dreamlike ‘Let Me Go’ has shades of Alpinisms-era School of Seven Bells to it, whilst the calypso-ish ‘Written In Red’ and upbeat ‘On My Record Player’ bounce along with the verve of a thousand carnival after parties.
There are points where this laidback style becomes slightly counterproductive, lulling you into a state so relaxed that you almost forget that the album is still playing; however, the overall balance of ‘Celeste’ ensures that you’ll still be playing it long after the final embers have died out on your barbeque....full text
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