The debut album ’Teiger’ is sort of a calling card for what’s to come. It came to life during a really interesting time – we were all going through various personal struggles during the songwriting process, the bulk of which happened during semi-lockdown. The timing of the band’s formation was impeccable for Phil as he’d be struggling to find a real outlet for his creativity. Having been in many different bands previously, he says there’s much more space in Teiger. Similarly, Jon had almost given up drumming given the state of modern music, but was the most enthusiastic he’d ever been about a project when he heard Talie’s demos.
The album is self-produced, which was a fascinating learning curve. We all had a clear idea of what the songs should sound like, so it was just a case of making that happen with the help of our engineer Mike Bew at Foel Studio. It was exciting to hear the acoustic demos expanded into legacy pieces and become what we knew they could be once properly produced. Equally, we had no idea we’d be able to do what we’ve done, especially as a three-piece. The recording itself was an extremely intimate process, and we wanted to retain a bit of a live, atmospheric feel throughout – but we have very different plans for the second album!
Songwriting has been incredibly easy so far – it all tends to come together very fast. For Talie, the songs are a crystallisation of personal experience, even though they are ambiguous and she steers away from “storytelling”. The process couldn’t really be pushed in any particular direction; the tracks came out the way they came out and were shaped only by the limitations of her guitar playing. Invention is the child of necessity! After the initial “templates” came through Talie, they became a playground for Jon and Phil, giving a lot of room for the band to be creative both individually and together. Phil mentions this album is unique in that all of his influences across many different genres and eras have gone into writing the bass lines.
The album is relatively minimal in terms of equipment. We didn’t want this one to be overproduced. Of course, time and money is always an issue – there’s always a way to do more, but equally, it captures a moment in time and we’re very happy with the way it came out. The whole thing was recorded in five days – it was Talie’s first experience in the studio and she immediately felt very at home there. As a London city band, it was a beautiful retreat from everything else and a chance to focus fully on the music, which contributed heavily to our creativity. Mike used the opportunity to try out a number of new experimental techniques, including recording ambient outdoor noise. Knowing the legacy of pioneering rock and prog groups heading across the border to Wales to create, recoding at Foel – which is surrounded by breathtaking landscape – was very exciting. The fact that it’s a residential studio makes it very immersive – Jon and Phil had recorded there in a former project and both encouraged Talie to work here for ‘Teiger’.
Track By Track
The Crawl was the very first track that Talie sent to Jon, in very early demo format, to Jon. In a sense, it’s the song that catalysed Teiger into existence, even though it’s gone through more variations than any other song we’ve written. There are a lot of secrets and history on that track. It’s also started a tradition of instrumental openers!
Very much a live track, Sahara was initially quite difficult to record. It took us a while to be satisfied with it – we initially felt it lacked the energy of the stage performance. Now, the album version influences the way we play it live.
Come And Find Me:
Come And Find Me has a very organic, almost tribal sound. The whole song – both lyrics and guitar – came to Talie all in one go, almost like a memory. Bizarrely, Jon and Phil also wrote their parts in one sitting. Phil’s favourite bass line.
Slow Burning was almost dropped at one point! It came out of the same early experimentation session as Sunrise, back when we first jammed in Phi’s son’s bedroom (a good place to store a drum kit).
The most fun in terms of production, Splinter has a lot of oddities in it. It’s a whole world unto itself, and we have a big video for it in final editing stage. It’s the track that changed the direction of the band, foreshadowing the second album material.
We don’t tend to play this one live – it’s more effective as a studio piece, at least for now. The outro is a highlight, and a very accurate midpoint for the album.
Hydra was our first single, and the most accessible “rock” track. It’s one of our favourites to play live, and we never deliver it quite the same – we know it so well, it changes drastically with the band’s energy.
The Law Of Diminishing Returns:
Phil shouted at Talie to “write a guitar solo”, and here we are.
Sunrise is our feel good hit of the summer – special mention to the drumming on this. We came up with the riff very early on, yet it was the last track to materialise in the studio. We’re too miserable to play this live.
The Thinnest Wall:
The Thinnest Wall is the most important song on the album. Without going into detail, there were a lot of unusual happenings surrounding this song, both technically and emotionally. We were extremely happy with how it came out and feel it’s the perfect conclusion to the debut album.
Check out the bands track Hydra, below:
Read our review here