VIDEO RELEASE DATE:
1st December, 2017
Thirsty is available via:
THE final days of the year…
are trickling down and, with that, I am looking ahead and collating the names to watch closely. I said this when reviewing Tallia Storm yesterday but, when listening to artists, it can be quite hard realising which will endure and those who are only here for a short time. Today, as I listen to Tiny Giant, I get the feeling they will be a duo that has the promise to do some great things in 2018. I shall come to them soon but, when thinking about all their positives and sides, I want to look at the migration to London; double A-sides – and why they remain so important to new acts – duos and why they are overtaking bands for dominance and attention; music videos and why it is good artists take them seriously; making exceptions for artists who have a real sense of verve and longevity; debut videos/releases and making those important steps. I keep saying I will go away from London and review artists who are placed in other parts of the world. Before the New Year; I have a few acts that are from other parts but, lately, it has been hard separating myself from the capital. I am not sure what it is but it is not a case of being specifically going after artists from here. It is inevitable a certain proportion of my reviews would look at artists who are from London. I feel, as time goes on, musicians are realising it is the only place they can go to get that focus and opportunity. Maybe other cities do not have the same breadth and population as London but so many feel, even if there is a great scene where they are, the media is going to be unaware and ignorant. There is some truth in this and I worry too many are being forced into the capital – that is causing a jam and anxiety levels are rising. A concern about stress levels is natural when I think of artists and London.
The city has the best venues around and incredible sounds but it is down to the media to keep their eyes primed and go to other parts of the country. If musicians feel they need to come down here in order to get their voices heard: we will see so many musicians struggle for a say and get suffocated in the mass and throng of the city. That all sounds rather fraught and dark but my admiration for London is endless. The fact I want to remain and work here for the years to come speaks volumes. I am one who does not like the crush and isolation you can experience but, for a creative, it is the only place to be. For a duo like Tiny Giant; they have come from other parts of the world but feel settled and excited to be in London. They have the capital and its vast array of venues on their door; the inspiration for songs and a network of fellow artists all around them. This will ensure next year will be a busy and exciting one for them. You can knock London but you cannot faulty why it is drawing people in – it is not only about surviving and finding fans. Musicians come here because they want to be inspired and connect with people like them. It is hard to avoid the fact one cannot walk down a street and get eye contact and conversation. That is the way of most large cities but what you do find is a huge network and industry for musicians. I know Tiny Giant will take advantage of that and are poised to do something exciting in 2018. They are in the best place because there are great small venues set up for them they can perform in; likeminded artists they can gig with and an endless stream of positives. I refute the claim London is hostile and unforgiving: the city buzzes and there is so much energy and inspiration for everyone. I can see the guys growing and moving around years down the line but, right now, they are situated in a city that is providing them with motivation and love.
I will come to look at a song that has been rattling around my mind for a bit but, before then, I wanted to look at the double A-side. I am fascinated by this revival, of sorts. There were years when artists abandoned double A-sides and B-sides. B-sides are rare – because acts release E.P.s and singles are not sold in a physical format now – but this (the double A-side) is a great way of putting two great songs together and not releasing an E.P. It is the midway point between a single and that E.P. – a chance for that artist to release something substantial but not commit to the work of an E.P. Tiny Giant’s twin-release sees Sad and Thirsty put together – that seems like a pining for love or release when you put the words together. I am reviewing Thirsty, as its video is out, but Sad is a stunning reverse that shows what a force they are. I feel a single can be a bit limited when it comes to showing how good an artist is; you only get a few minutes to listen and it can be a matter of months before they bring new songs out. A double A-side provides more music and an opportunity for that artist to explore new ground. As I said; they do not have to release an E.P. but it means they can take a couple of songs and, rather than drip-feed two singles, put them together as a single thing. I am seeing this more and more and pleased some ‘older’ aspects of music are coming back to the fore! I hope this continues because I worry there are few traditional sides of the industry that are being preserved. Maybe the double A-side is not the best example of past ways remaining – as the songs are still in a digital format – but it is a wonderful anecdote to combat the streaming, drip-fed; endlessly hyped songs you see in the mainstream. Tiny Giant’s efforts are in my head and I cannot wait to get down to reviewing Thirsty.
PHOTO CREDIT: @dogsinhell
It is wonderful finding artists who have great songs they want to put together. Tiny Giant have released two songs that have similar sounds but, if you think about it, they are their own beasts. It is hard to say which is best but I love seeing them together. I am not sure whether the duo has plans for an E.P. or album next year but they have shown, on their double A-side, they are in no short supply of creativity. I would expect Tiny Giant to put these two songs on an E.P. down the line but I am fascinated by the release we have now. The fact so many other acts are choosing to double A-sides out means few want to commit to something full-length and time-consuming: they do not want to keep releasing singles and wait until their next songs come out. Tiny Giant have a thirst and hunger to succeed and get their music to new people. If they had releases Sad one month; waited for a few more until releasing Thirsty – that would slow the momentum and dislocate them to an extent. What we have now from the London-based duo are two songs that get into the heart and under the skin but have their own characteristics. We have the video for Thirsty – and you can see what the guys did in the visual sense – and that gives the song new meaning and possibilities. Tiny Giant are doing wonderful things and I hope this continues as we head into 2018 - they have been around a few years but I feel their current material signifies their best days. They are excited about their material - and who can blame them?! I have heard few artists that come onto the scene with such an impression and sense of clarity. I have asked why the art of the double A-side is coming back. It seems there are artists who have a couple of great songs in their pockets and are not willing to break them up. It is another way some of the traditional and established aspects of music are being upheld and continued by the new generation. I would love to see this phenomenon continue unabated; see more artists go beyond a single and do the double A-side.
I have spoken a lot about duos and feel, as solo artists are being hyped, the role and part they play is vital. Duos are formations I am interested in and feel get little attention. Bands are becoming less relevant and struggling to get critical acclaim. There are some that are getting under the spotlight but solo artists are dominating and it is worrying to see. I remember a time, when I was younger, when bands were all you heard of. You did have solo acts but it was those groups we stuck with and played to death. Few can deny how many great solo acts there are but is it the case bands are redundant these days?! I would argue the best groups around are in the underground and are independent acts. They do not have a record deal and are doing things their own way – spending their own cash and promoting their music. That means it is harder for them to get the same attention as mainstream solo acts and get the same hype. Bands like IDLES are making impressive moves but they are in a minority. A lot of bands are still luring after festival slots and producing the same sounds we have heard time and time again – it gets very boring and predictable. Solo artists are in a different position and have more room for manoeuvre. I like bands and feel they have their place but I am concerned there are few that are saying anything genuine and inspiring. In the past; we have looked to bands to inspire the generations and produce music that lasts for years. Music has moved on and there is less dependence on longevity. I am seeing solo artists come through and their music is quick, accessible and easy. Duos have that chance to soak up the real estate left by the bands. Newcomers like REWS are showing what a well-oiled and tight duo can create. They produce the same sound and intensity as a band but are a lot more concentrated and varied. There is not that commercial drive and reliance on festival-ready sounds.
Sure; the girls play similar to music to Royal Blood but their music has more melody, nuance and width. I feel the same with Tiny Giant. There is a close friendship in their ranks and their music is part of a democracy. You never get the impression there is a lead and someone calling the shots. Maybe I have been a bit harsh and short-sighted with bands but I am worried there are few that come to mind: all the best and brightest have been around for a long time now. Solo artists are great but I am more compelled by duos and what they represent. Not only do they have a comparative lack of pressure – not the same expectations and critical focus as bands – but they have the chance to produce whatever they want. Too many bands are copying others are unable to provide music that differs from anything out there. Duos have always been around but there are far fewer of them than solo acts and bands. I feel, as we move into 2018, more festivals and big venues will look at duos and away from bands. If the end-of-year-lists and polls have shown anything; it is band-made albums are less popular than previous years. You can bet, when the lists for this year are released, most of the finest albums (of 2017) will be from solo acts. Whether you are a hot-and-heavy force like REWS; more subtle and colourful like Tiny Giant – there is something much more interesting and promising than the bands we are seeing coming through. I will put this point to bed but I am annoyed there are few bands doing extraordinary and new things – the likes of IDLES are a rarity in the modern scene. Duos are exciting and I am seeing so many sensational ones come through. Tiny Giant are among the best out there and will continue to make moves in 2018. It will be a big year for them as they decide whether they want to release an E.P./album and where they want to head.
I will talk about Thirsty and what the song represents but it is hard to listen to the song without watching the video. The guys have produced a video that makes the eyes widen and the body move; it is bright and fascinating; busy and bright – a fantastic film that gives the song new light and promise. The track itself is great but I feel a great music video can do so much more. So many artists are lazily putting out videos and not really putting the effort in. I appreciate how expensive a video can be but do artists really have to go out their way to produce formulaic and predictable videos?! There are a few, again, who provide imaginative videos but that is a rarity. A lot of artists are simply recording themselves play the song and not really putting much story and acting into it. I know not everyone has a love for the video but it is part of music and an important way of visualising your music. If you expend little effort on that point then many will become uninterested. I wonder whether, with music becoming more Spotify-based and digital, the visual aspect of music is dying out? I hope that is not true because, as Tiny Giant have shown, the visual side of music is fascinating. You will need to watch the video yourself but it is a wonderful little film that shows all the personality sides and tics of the duo. I hope they continue to expend that much effort for future videos – it will see them get ahead of the competition and above the fray. (Even fellow duos like REWS do not put the same sort of magic into their promotional films). I have always loved the interaction and association between film and music. Musicians should be interested in the video and, even with a small budget, push their minds and make something good. If you are bored by videos then you cannot expect people to stick with you. The music is the important part but videos are part of the equation and artists need to remember this. There are many who do expend effort and time but I feel many are too keen getting the music out and spending little time with the video.
Tiny Giant have created a wonderful video, for sure; they have penned a song that, I feel, creates its own genre. Their duo-name is a contradiction in terms and a wonderful visual: their music, it seems, pairs melodic Pop elements with Rock and Indie. They are all about contrasts and dichotomies. Future-Rock and Dream-Pop are the genres they fuse and, together, it creates a brew I have not heard a lot. I see artists crafting their own sounds and taking traditional sounds and mixing them all together. Tiny Giant have fused the dreaminess of Pop – when it at its most seductive and arresting – but provide ample fuzz, fizz and force. They put these contrasting aspects together and mix it in their boiling pot. I have not heard music sound quite like this. The guys are quite new off the block and it would be understandable were they to sit back and do something quite average and safe. They are not like that and, as we hear on Thirsty, they are exploring new ground right from the off. This is their first music video and the guys are excited being in music. That joy and energy has extended to their sounds and the way they contrast their songs. The lyrics have a sense of quirk and fun; the composition is busy and ever-changing; the result is a track that hits you when you listen to it but you keep coming back to it. Nuance is a hard thing to create in an industry that is as jammed and busy as it ever has been. I do not often come back to artists and find myself moving on and curious. Tiny Giant do not want the listener to find something else and, as such, have gone out their way to ensure their music and visuals are a step above anything else. This work-rate and passion will see them make important steps in 2018. Blogs and journalists are already responding and providing positive words.
Before I come to look at their latest track; I wanted to end with me making exceptions for artists. It sounds like I am the king who is providing a royal pardon for a traitor but what I mean is I am becoming stricter when it comes to accepting acts. I look for a lot of images and information from groups and, when it comes to Tiny Giant, they are pretty new. There is not a huge biography and Chloë Alper and Mat Collis are new to me. I have said how independent and single-minded the guys are by they are being looked after by Black Pig Records. I am not sure how much influence the label exerts but I still think of Tiny Giant as an independent and freewheelin’ duo who do their own thing and are beholden to nobody. Maybe this is the result of a casual and respectful professional relationship but it is good to see a hungry young duo given lease and freedom to make the music THEY want to. I will look for great new artists next year and try and broaden my pages. The reason I almost passed by Tiny Giant is because they are new and there is little information held about them. They have released a few songs and been around for a few years but they are still making moves and exploring music - not been around that long. The guys will progress and put more onto the page as they head into 2018 but I am curious where they came from and how they got together; what music they are compelled by and what plans they have. Their social media pages are updated but it would be nice to learn more about the two and what brought them together – and whether they are friends or more than that. The same goes for the photos: a side of music I always mention with regards reviews. I am finding few artists who can provide an adequate amount of photos. This means I am less interested in reviewing them and it causes problems – I wonder how long that act will survive.
Little Giant have a few great photos and I know they will put more out there. The ones I have used – and there are a few older ones among the new shots – show a visual eye and a desire to put out professional images. That speaks to their ambition and how fast they want to progress in the industry. I do wonder why so many artists do not put many images out and why they think that is acceptable. I will not return to this point but was determined to see Tiny Giant on these pages. I hope the guys get some more shots out there and let us into their world. Those artists that go the extra mile with their music deserve feature and focus. The London-based duo will continue to expand and express – I am pleased what they have created and how far they have come already. Let us move onto Thirsty but, before then, it is worth expressing how new the career of Tiny Giant is and how many big steps they have made - their latest material is stronger than their earlier material and bringing more to the plate. The guys have a small following online but it is a lot more impressive than many acts that have been around for years. Critics are responding to their music and keen to expend as many positive words as possible. I know Tiny Giant will continue to craft original and superb music (in 2018) and get more praise and love. They have put so much into their early music - from their first release and their first video now - and I hope they see that rewarded and praised going forward. You look at their social media, and listen to the music, and know they will be a big success very soon. They have the chemistry and affection for one another; the songs are vivacious and sensational; the performances tight and stunning – all the ingredients you would expect from a great act.
Huffington Post have already premiered the video and provides some very positive words about it – and the song it accompanies. The track opens with teasing and tight beats. It is a compelling and propulsive start that sees jagged and vibrating guitars saw through the sound. The heroine is on the microphone and pushed by a sound that mixes Garage and 1990s Rock with something modern and exciting. It is a fantastic blend that I have not heard before. She asks – the hero, perhaps – when he is coming over. It is Wednesday and, it seems, she wants to bite him. Maybe, you think this early on, it is not a person but a general hunger. The song is called Thirsty so it is not a surprise to hear that desire and desire. The song bursts into life and goes from composed and teasing to vivacious and explosive. The percussion rumbles and the strings embolden and bite. The song is gnarly and snarling; the riffs swaggering and meaty – the mood tenses and the song illuminates. You cannot help but move your body and become activated by the force and intensity. The heroine is thirsty and it seems her man – whether a sweetheart or casual acquaintance – is getting the motor running. The vocal is not your average Rock/Pop thing. There is Gallic passion and romance; a sigh and swoon that melts alongside the big and emphatic sounds. Alper is in the mood for something exciting and naughty. You think there is romance and physicality being assessed but the lyrics look at the heroine clearing her room and making an effort for the person. It is a unique and humorous look at love but you wonder whether something else is at play. I am hooked by the analogies and metaphors; the way the video has a cake on the table and the heroine dressed in tight black clothing – that mix of sexuality and appetite always at the forefront.
The performance and playing is tight and wonderful – so much sound coming from two people. I have said how duos are now overtaking bands when it comes to appeal and focus. If artists like Tiny Giant can produce a sound bigger than most bands out there then they are going to get tongues wagging. There are Pop undertones and depths but that energy and passion is what keeps you hooked. The more the song goes on, oddly, the more I think of food. Perhaps the video does not help in that respect: the heroine luring after the cake and sexually squeezing her icing bag. She is hoovering up her drugs – we’ll say no more – and wondering whether the guy is coming around. It is interesting having food and cakes at the front but I guess it is a symbol of temptation and something pleasurable. The quiet-loud dynamic of the song means the mind and body are pulled in different directions and never expecting what comes. After all the pummel and sway comes a calmed and Pop-flavoured middle that sees the heroine calmer; her compatriot playing keys and allowing the song chance to breathe. The guys combine in something tender and colourful; the storm passes and it signals a new passage for the song. That hunger is still there but there is a pause and chance for contemplation. The heroine does not need a reason when it comes to desires. Before you get invested in that swoon; the song comes back to life and the chorus swings into view. Despite the teeth and tongue purging and exploring; there is lightness and colour in the vocal. It has lightness and tenderness which means the song is never too forceful or intense. It is a wonderful track that you cannot help fall for – signs this duo are going to go a long way next year!
It is a busy and exciting time for the London duo. I know 2018 will be big and I would expect to see an E.P. or album arrive. Chloë Alper and Mat Collis are superb creative minds who will go a long way in an industry that is becoming harder to crack. I have talked about bands and duos and how the focus is shifting; why solo artists are popular and the way you can get ahead in the industry. You need to think outside the box and not pen music that will get you onto big stages. That sounds counterintuitive but so many acts are writing music for arenas. Bands are becoming flaccid and less relevant; solo acts are starting to make ground up and get bigger attention. All the end-of-year-lists are focusing on solo acts but I feel duos have a chance to feel the void being left by bands. It is a dynamic I am fascinated by and always willing to explore more. Tiny Giant are a sensational proposition and I cannot wait to see where they head in 2018. The stage is set and they have proved, with their double A-side, what they are made of. I wanted to focus on Thirsty – as its video is out now – and that single moment but, in truth, both songs are incredible. You cannot deny the guys have a great flair and hunger to succeed and I know this will be rewarded with every song they release. I shall leave things now – lest I bore people – but I hope I have got to the bottom of Tiny Giant. They are a great new act everyone should be aware of. Whether you respond to their original and exciting sounds or their incredible video; the tightness they have and bond with one another; what they want to accomplish in the coming months. I know the duo will do some wonderful things next year and, when you think about their name, the curious-named duo…
ARE giants who will continue to grow.
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