First Tiger's music is smart, playful and surprising, with some unexpected reference points filtered through a contemporary Scottish feel.
The album, Dedicated, is full of syncopated rhythms, lively basslines, off-kilter hooks, and tunes that'll stay with you.
Shorts and Stevie started playing guitar together as teenagers in Glasgow, but took to playing gigs a while later. In between times they studied, traveled, worked and lived in different countries. When they both ended up back in Glasgow, they started playing as an acoustic duo around the city.
They didn't want their set to be stuck in one gear, limited to one mood, tempo or rhythm, and loved trying to put as much interest into a 3-minute tune as they could.
They recorded their first album with a highly-respected Glasgow producer, Stuart McCredie, who has worked with some great names in Scottish music (Texas, The Blue Nile, The Fratellis). His lean, direct production has brought out the strength and originality of the songs. It shows Stevie’s knack for an earworm, and Shorts' distinctive, warm and honest vocal at its best.
The tracks are all different, inspired by a variety of experiences and influences. For Pete's Sake gives a nod to Jacques Brel's Vesoul in its contemporary take on escape from a stultifying relationship. Walking On Air takes the opening lines of Fats Waller's Crazy 'Bout My Baby as a starting point, and uses them to get at a completely different set of ideas. Other People's Taste plays with ideas of identity and originality - and the vanity of small differences - with a tongue-in-cheek reference to meeting your doppleganger. (Stevie met his evil twin once. If you ever meet yours, you should be nice to them. It's your only hope.)
Identity, personal flaws, doomed and failed relationships - these things are dealt with in a way that's not self-important, and with a bit of a wry smile.
Like a lot of bands, they find it hard to describe their own music.
"We've had comparisons to a surprising range of bands and singers - some we’d never heard of, most we wouldn't have thought of, and many we're flattered to be compared to."
"We want this album to feel like a fun, catchy piece of work. Stick it on while you brew the coffee."