Rich Orpin - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Alex Rosenberg - Vocals, Piano, Keyboard, Melodica
Tom Watson - Vocals, Bass
Dave Moschini - Drums
Tom Fleming - Guitar
The clinking of glass evoking the first drink of the evening in a quiet bar. The scrunching of discarded crisp packets. The slow murmur of conversation to a backdrop of spluttering coughs. These might not be the first sounds you’d expect to hear on the opening track of The Tiger Moths’ striking new EP, 'How to Fall'. But they set the tone for a bold sophomore record from London’s Americana inspired rockers, which indicates a new direction.
Combining alt-country guitar runs, jazz-infused piano and a meandering rhythm section that bobs and weaves across the EP's four tracks, it’s sometimes hard to pin this record down. On the opening track, I Wanna See It All, a saloon bar piano - accompanied only by a distant vocal and tambourine - makes way for a noise-rock inspired crescendo evoking Sonic Youth or The Velvet Underground and ends with an anthemic reprise, akin to something from a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record. Keep It Inside and Night Holds Still feel more reminiscent of Big Star or Wilco, each built around an acoustic guitar and piano melody brought to soaring heights with the addition of drums, bass, Rhodes and electric guitar. The final track, You Don’t Know What’s Happening, seems to nod towards punk with a middle-eight straight out of 'Revolver'.
Formed in 2013, and with their self-titled debut EP and a handful of prior tracks behind them, this feels like a coming of age EP for the Moths. “We wanted to make a record that reflects where we are now” says singer and guitarist, Rich Orpin. “Our first EP was made up of a bunch of songs we’d been playing for years. Most of the songs on this EP were written within a few months of us getting in the studio and I think that brings a fresher sound and more intensity. Hopefully that comes out on the record.”
The Moths have travelled a long road to get here. Formed from the ashes of King of Spain and Erin Black and the Devil’s Hand, two bands which in their own way felt like they were pushing at bigger things, this EP brings together the diffuse backgrounds and contributions of each member into something more than the sum of their parts. Whereas 2017’s, 'The Tiger Moths', put the band firmly in the alt-country category, this record breaks new ground across a broader range of influences.
Both grand and intimate, far-reaching and deeply personal, the EP marks a leap forward from a band ready to step to the front of the stage. So whether it’s the first drink of the evening or the last, the variety and depth of 'How to Fall' makes it the kind of record that rewards further listening, and suggests that The Tiger Moths are bound for bigger things.