Rich Howells

Scranton indie rockers Tigers Jaw sign to Hopeless Records, release new single ‘Warn Me’

Scranton indie rockers Tigers Jaw sign to Hopeless Records, release new single ‘Warn Me’
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On Thursday, Scranton indie rock band Tigers Jaw released their first new single in three years, “Warn Me,” and announced that they’ve signed to Hopeless Records, an independent label that serves as the current home of national acts like Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, Sum 41, The Used, Bayside, Circa Survive, Neck Deep, The Wonder Years, and Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, among others.

For the last few years, vocalist/guitarist Ben Walsh and vocalist/keyboardist Brianna Collins have been performing live and touring with drummer Teddy Roberts and guitarist/bassist Colin Gorman, so now “after a million shows, hotels, and karaoke bars, we found some time to write and record new music for the first time with Ted and Colin,” the duo posted on social media.

“Warn Me,” which fans heard on tour last fall, is just one of those new songs. The band has completed their sixth full-length album with Philadelphia producer Will Yip, their longtime friend and collaborator who recorded their previous two albums, 2017’s “Spin” and 2014’s “Charmer,” at Studio 4 in Conshohocken.

“While the emotionally charged ‘Warn Me’ isn’t featured on their forthcoming release, it offers a preview of their new and expanded sonic approach,” a press release stated. Collins created the lyric video for the song.

“‘Warn Me’ is about being blindsided by something positive in your life. It’s that moment when you realize you normalized unhealthy relationships or behaviors. I’ve been hesitant in the past to write from a more positive point of view, but my entire personal life went through an upheaval a few years back and it inspired me to see things through a new lens,” Walsh explained.

“This was one of the first songs we worked on with Colin and Teddy and feels like a perfect song to kick off this next chapter of our band. Will Yip did such a great job of bringing out everyone’s musical personality in our performances. It’s a relentlessly driving but fun song, and I think it captures our live sound and energy really accurately.”

“Warn Me” lyrics:

Wish I was looking out your window
Wish I was tugging at your sleeve
Pulling your focus from your telephone
Telling you what you mean to me
You are the sunlight burned in my eyes
Even when I look away
Try to make sense of your actions
What a way to lose a night of sleep

I expected a warning
I expected your voice in a crowded room
All alone in the morning
All these questions were leading me back to you

You are the sunlight burned in my eyes
I can’t help but look away
No innocence from inaction
No other place i would rather be

I expected a warning
I expected your voice in a crowded room
All alone in the morning
With no sunlight your flowers they will not bloom
I expected a warning
Holding out for your eyes across a crowded room
All alone in the morning
All these questions were leading me back to you

I expected a warning
I expected your voice in a crowded room
All alone in the morning
I expected a warning

Since the coronavirus pandemic shut down all music venues, Walsh and Collins have been live streaming solo shows via StageIt, and they’re currently “working on an exciting full-band live stream show idea,” with details to be revealed soon.

“Formed in 2005, Tigers Jaw have spent the past 15 years refining their sound – unconventionally catchy riffs, the melodic intertwining of male/female vocals, and timelessly relatable lyricism – while cultivating a passionate following via live shows and tours all around the world. ‘Spin,’ released via Yip’s Atlantic Records imprint Black Cement Records, cemented the band as a songwriting force, earning the band their NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert debut and critical acclaim from Pitchfork, Vice/Noisey, The Fader, Stereogum, Paper Magazine, NYLON, Billboard, Brooklyn Vegan, and many more,” the press release continued.

Tigers Jaw returned to their hometown area last May to play a sold-out acoustic show at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre, just a small part of the wave of critical and commercial success they’ve received since the release of “Spin” in 2017. As the curator of Black Cement, Yip chose Tigers Jaw as the first band to be featured on the label, overseeing the creative process with Collins and Walsh, who have kept Tigers Jaw going through various incarnations.

On Oct. 1, they released the “Eyes Shut” EP, which contained one new song and acoustic versions of tracks from “Spin.”

“In a lot of ways, this record is a return to the way the band started in the sense that it was coming from two people working very closely together, and I think that resulted in something that was really cohesive,” Walsh said of “Spin” in a press release.

“The whole experience felt really organic, even if the recording process was different than anything we had done in the past together.”

“The two of us worked together so closely on this record, especially when it came to layering our harmonies, and I think along with open guitar chords and Casiotone organs, that’s what really makes this album sound like us,” Collins added.

“We needed to do what felt like Tigers Jaw – and I think we were able to do that in a really exciting way this time around.”

At the end of 2019, Tigers Jaw finally toured with The Menzingers, another Scranton band that has broken out into the mainstream. While they were friends for years and played many local shows together, they had “never done a proper tour together” until their national run with Culture Abuse, which began on Oct. 25 in Columbus, Ohio and wrapped up on Dec. 7 in Boston, Massachusetts. The tour’s closest stop to Northeastern Pennsylvania was at Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia on Nov. 29.

Watch an exclusive interview with Brianna Collins in Episode 109 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, where she talks about Tigers Jaw’s rise to fame, what drew her to local music at a young age, tour stories and meeting bands she grew up listening to, working with Will Yip on “Spin” and “Charmer,” songwriting and the evolution of Tiger Jaw’s sound, her favorite shows, their sold-out 10th anniversary show in Scranton last year, her experiences as a woman in music, their current lineup, and more: