NEPA Scene Staff

VIDEO: Scranton indie rockers Tigers Jaw play virtual record release show at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre

VIDEO: Scranton indie rockers Tigers Jaw play virtual record release show at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre
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From a press release:

While most Northeastern Pennsylvania music venues are still shut down due to the pandemic, Tigers Jaw didn’t let that stop them from putting together a special record release show for their fans locally and all over the world.

The Scranton-based indie rock group recently took over one of their favorite venues, Karl Hall in downtown Wilkes-Barre, and recorded a concert that premiered last night on the Hopeless Records YouTube channel. They played the new album, titled “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me,” in its entirety for free.

Those who want to support the band can purchase items from a virtual merch table, including $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win an autographed test pressing of the record.

“Today, we finally get to share this record with you. We recorded these songs in 2019 in what feels like a different world, but the sentiments remain the same. It’s about confidence at war with doubt, living in the moment, learning from the past, and taking stock of what’s truly important,” they shared on social media.

“Thank you to Will Yip, our brother and collaborator. You brought our vision to life and brought out the best in us. ‘I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’ is out now everywhere. Turn it up loud and enjoy it.”

“Karl Hall was ecstatic to host our friends Tigers Jaw for their live recorded performance of their new album! Make sure you tune in to YouTube on Friday and see how they transformed the venue into a brilliant creative space!” the venue added.

The DIY set featured props from their “Hesitation” music video, among other objects carefully placed on the intimate stage, giving the show the distinct look the group is known for. Directed like their music videos, some parts even had special transitions between songs, and the whole 41-minute set was engineered and mixed by producer Will Yip.

Leading up to this concert, the band hosted “virtual in-stores” via Zoom, including one to support the local Gallery of Sound stores. These five COVID-safe events included acoustic performances of two to three songs and 15-minute moderated Q&A sessions.

Each of these participating independent record stores and retailers offered an exclusive vinyl variant; the Gallery of Sound has a bone, maroon, and orange striped LP that is currently sold out online.

Over the past few months, Tigers Jaw has been releasing singles from “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me” along with some creative music videos, such as “Lemon Mouth,” “Cat’s Cradle,” “Hesitation,” and “New Detroit,” receiving coverage and praise from the New York Times, Pitchfork, NPR Music, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Uproxx, Under the Radar, and more. They even chronicled the process of filming “Hesitation” in a four-part video series.

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
3. Hesitation
4. New Detroit
5. Can’t Wait Forever
6. Lemon Mouth
7. Body Language
8. Commit
9. Never Wanted To
10. Heaven Apart
11. Anniversary

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 in 2019 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 in 2020, 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.

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: