Miniature Tigers album cover for
Album reviews
Miniature Tigers
I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy
Release year:
Modern Art Records
09 November 2016 / by Nate Gurarie (author)

Over their eight years as a band, Miniature Tigers, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, has spread out across the U.S., landing mainly in LA and NYC.

Ever since I heard the soft and unsure singing on their song “Like Or Like Like” some four years ago on a random playlist, they became my favourite band. I felt like I found a home in their charming stories of love and heartbreak. I promise when I say this review is in no way biased, they are just that good. 

Their fifth album I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy, tells the story of being in love and the anxieties that come along with it. When you want to jump ahead to all the good bits ("Wish It Was Now") or when you are afraid of a great love ending ("I Never Want Our Love To End"). The album talks about the ache of being away from the person you love ("Pictures Of You") or being simply overwhelmed by your feelings for someone ("Wheat and Before You").

It's not just the relatability that makes this album a great one: the instrumentation is brilliant, mixing older guitar riffs with new synths that create a fresh but familiar and almost comforting sound, while still being exciting. It is like listening to a song you haven't heard in years and hearing a new note for the first time.

The first single, “Crying In The Sunshine," is everything an indie pop single should be. The horn like synths get you pumped and stays in your head for hours after. It can be played at a house party or on the highway - it will get you grooving along wherever you are.

The next track, “Pictures Of You," as well as many other songs on the album, has great drums, a twangy guitar, and a kazoo-like fuzz that I wish I had any idea how to replicate.

The title track, a duet with actress Mae Whitman, is absolutely haunting, which is not a new sound for Miniature Tigers. Listen to “Haunted Pyramid” and “Japanese Woman” for more eerie tunes fit for a David Lynch soundtrack.

It's clear who one of the band's main influences are when you listen to the track “Wish It Was Now,” which pulls classic Simon and Garfunkel vibes.

My favourite track on the album, although I'll have to give it a few more listens before I can decide for sure, is “Nobody Else.” In the past, Miniature Tigers have sampled artists such as Fleetwood Mac, but this time, stole my blues heart by sampling Millie Small's “What Am I Living For” and reimagining it into a punchy pop song. The song also happens to include the amazing line “I should sleep more / and drink less / and find a better therapist” which definitely speaks to a wide population of disenchanted but persevering people.

The runner up to being my favourite is “Before You."

The album as a whole is amazing. Sitars, remixed sounds, and hand drums come together to create an album that feels like sitting in a field and just feeling like you're apart of the bigger picture, even if it's a small part. It's the colour brown, but in a good way. It's the rice crop emoji.

I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy is the kind of album best described with a lot of hand gestures and moodboards.

The author

Nate Gurarie

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