It must have taken Brothertiger a few sleepless nights to decide which tracks from his recently released LP, Out of Touch, to reveal as teasers before the record came out. In a single-driven industry that is our modern music business, Out of Touch stands on a firm footing as a sonically complete record, not one easily narrowed down. Each song on the ten-track album has its place in the musical arch of the record and is loyal to Brothertiger’s resolute early VH1 energy, reincarnating Tears for Fears in a synth-clad body. It is quite satisfying to hear an artist fully in their element. Consistency becomes a result and not just a means.
The rhythmic synchronicity of each layer creates a subtle, but convincing effect: the syncopated pulses of the synth bass, the steady 16th note Hi-Hat, the snare on two and four and an entrancing arpeggiating pad are all accentuating the same beats, giving an actual physical urge to move. This stable frame gives the melody all the freedom to move and Brothertiger sure gave the vocal all he got. Gone are the days when he washed his voice in reverb to add a shy textural fill. Now his soothing vocals are stacked and buffed up, center stage in the mix. There are a few more areas he explored with Out of Touch. Jungle Floor tastefully incorporates percussion in addition to the drum machine. High Tide is the longest track on the record (might even be the longest track Brothertiger has released period), and it has a considerably more variation in the drums, quite becoming in the chillwave genre lineage.
At a closer look, there really isn’t a masterminded formula when it comes to Brothertiger’s musical integrity. He is good at reassembling his go-to signature instruments into singular arrangements. With a rhythmic 80’s-inspired guitar, a side-chained ducking synth, clean backbeat and a harmonising vocoder vocal, he can transmit wholesome nostalgia without reinventing the wheel. But there is a powerful secret ingredient, not discernible at a first listen: Brothertiger is a master of enveloping nostalgic introspective lyrics into polar opposite upbeat productions. That is the genius behind Out of Touch. It lies in this bittersweet spot, where the melancholic lyric and the cheerful buoyant accompaniment hold each other in balance.
Out of Touch was released 4 December 2015 (Mush Records). Get yours here
Mariya Val Yuri