Scranton indie rock band Tigers Jaw ends a sour year with introspective single ‘Lemon Mouth’
From a press release:
As a sour 2020 comes to an end in just a few weeks, Scranton indie rock band Tigers Jaw released “Lemon Mouth” on Dec. 2, the second single from their forthcoming album due out in 2021, which will hopefully be a much better year.
Originally a demo by vocalist/keyboardist Brianna Collins and bassist Colin Gorman, and later finalized as a full-band with vocalist/guitarist Ben Walsh and drummer Teddy Roberts, the driving and emotive track also has a music video that Collins directed.
“The lyrics for ‘Lemon Mouth’ are very personal and introspective. Sometimes self-reflection only happens for me when I’m thinking about characteristics that I want to change about myself,” she explained.
“It can look like this sort of scanning of my own habits, things that are so consistent and familiar – but I can’t figure out the reason why I do them.”
“Lemon Mouth” follows the album’s lead single, “Cat’s Cradle,” which earned early praise and support from the New York Times’ Playlist as “a confident step out of the shadow of the past and into the band’s future,” as well as from Pitchfork, NPR Music (New Music Friday Spotify/Apple playlist), Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Uproxx, Under the Radar, and more.
“‘Lemon Mouth’ is the only song on the record that Colin plays guitar on and the first song that we had ever worked on writing together, which I think is really special,” Collins added.
“In the early stages of writing for the record, I showed Colin an iPhone voice memo of an idea I had written on guitar for a verse, but the chorus wasn’t all the way there, and I wanted to know if he had any ideas. He picked up the guitar and played what he was thinking could work and it immediately made the song feel more complete. He helped push ‘Lemon Mouth’ from just a rough demo idea to a real song.”
Both of these songs will be featured on their sixth album, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me,” which will be released on Hopeless Records on March 5. Produced by the band and longtime collaborator Will Yip, the record finds the group at the height of their powers, fusing their collective skills with the synchronicity and energy they honed over several years of nonstop touring. Whereas their latest output, 2017’s “Spin,” was replete with several dense layers of instruments and vocals, “I Won’t Care” pushes the elements of liveliness and human connectivity forward. This back-to-the-basement approach resulted in a new songwriting dynamic.
While “Spin” found Walsh and Collins splitting writing duties, “I Won’t Care” marks the first time all four members shared songwriting input. The band’s most sonically ambitious and lyrically affecting album to date, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me” sees a newfound freshness and creative freedom crystalizing the lush world of Tigers Jaw.
While at first the title track – featuring Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull on backing vocals – seemed to be an unapologetically defiant statement, it ended up carrying a greater significance for the band, who rallied around it as a sentiment of shared personal renaissance that sets the tone for the album, as well as the band as a whole.
“This album is a hopeful time capsule of a band who has been through a lot together. It’s about growth, self-reflection, and figuring out how to be present in the moment to really take stock of what’s important, without getting sidetracked by the opinions of others or things out of our control,” Walsh explained.
“Tigers Jaw can get through anything and be stronger because of it. We’ve endured lots of change over the last 15 years, but a lot of things have remained consistent. We make the music we want to make, we push each other to continue evolving and growing as musicians, and we are so proud of where we are now.”
“I Won’t Care How You Remember Me” tracklist:
1. I Won’t Care How You Remember Me
2. Cat’s Cradle
4. New Detroit
5. Can’t Wait Forever
6. Lemon Mouth
7. Body Language
9. Never Wanted To
10. Heaven Apart
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 with live shows and tours all around the world. “Spin,” released in 2017 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.
They returned to their hometown area last year to play a sold-out acoustic show at Karl Hall and co-headlined a massive drive-in benefit concert outside Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre earlier this year, just a small part of the wave of critical and commercial success they’ve received since the release of “Spin.” 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.
At the end of 2019, they 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.
See NEPA Scene’s photos and a review of Tigers Jaw’s 2020 Wilkes-Barre performance here and 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, their current lineup, and more: