I fear being too specific and dread coming off as a showoff. Does that make sense?
Meet Rasmus Kellerman. This is the guy behind Tiger Lou. Its a band; for all intents and purposes, he's the band. He writes the songs, plays and produces them. For now. Kellerman will tell you not to look too close at »just an indie band, like many other indie bands, with a big heart.« But not listening closely to Tiger Lou would be to sell it short. The Loyal, the bands second album, is on the surface, just music. A bunch of songs written by some guy from Oxelösund, Sweden. Only these tunes breathe, they're dynamic, alive. Straight from the heart of some guy now living in Stockholm. And he wouldn't say the band had heart if, to some extent, he wanted you to know the music was sincere.
»The Loyal« pulses insistently, muted acoustic strumming locked in with marching 4/4 drums beneath Kellermans subdued but burdened vocals. He questions the merits of sightless loyalty in what might be construed as the voice of young soldiers facing deployment. The song maintains this tense, hypnotic groove for much of its 5:35 running time, even through the comparatively bright chorus and, as with the sentiments expressed therein, does not resolve to anything but taut, catatonic resignation. The New Order-esque »Patterns« asks us to interpret »the marks on me,« referring perhaps to a palm-reading, where Kellerman wants to know the details and also hopes to revise them. Henceforth, the story finds our hero desiring to know his »Function« in this mortal coil; pledging not to stop searching Until Im There. Henceforth are more promises, some mention of his own blood, and the realization that whatever we've found, we've brought on ourselves, and what matters is what was there all along.
Again, probably too deep an analysis for one who has already done the introspective equivalent of staring into the sun. We haven't even mentioned that Tiger Lou played 250 gigs throughout Sweden and Germany in the past three years. And they've sold around 20,000 records worldwide between two albums (Is My Head Still On? was released in ten countries in 2004), one EP (Trouble and Desire came out in 03 and resulted in a month-long U.S. tour) and several singles and seven-inches. There's also the Swedish Grammy nomination (for Best Video), a Best New Act nod at the Manifest awards (an indie version of the Grammys). Or that The Loyal was produced and mixed by producer/mixer Peter Katis (Interpol, Denali, The Dylan Group, The National).
Sure, Tiger Lou has done some stuff worth mentioning, says Kellerman. But... let's just concentrate on what it is, and not what we want it to be. Other than the indie/big heart thing, his list is simple: 1. Tiger Lou is a solo project, 2. Tiger Lou is a four-piece live band.
That's mostly his brain talking. The band with heart says, I just want to affect people. Hit them in the guts, but make them wanna dance at the same time. I wanna present Tiger Lou as a very personal thing. That's why I do all my own design work. That's why I try to respond to all the guestbook entries. To make people feel like I'm there, you know? It's not just some band, it's a real person behind it all, a person that is within reach.