The sound is important but nothing is more important than the feeling of the sound. When Charlie Brand (vocals, guitar) was writing the newest Miniature Tigers record, he looked to the sum of his musical influences for inspiration. “I wanted to make something like Weezer’s Blue Album—not exactly the album, but the feeling of listening to that album at age whatever. Something with that feeling that could connect with people.” That’s how the band had started, after all: When he and founding member Rick Schaier (keys) connected over Myspace in the mid-’00s through their love of the same bands. After a few albums, they brought on Algernon Quashie (guitar) and Brandon Lee (bass) to complete the band.

The resulting record, Cruel Runnings, is something halfway between nostalgia and the ecstatic now, an album that yearns for the recent past while staring open-hearted at what the present dares to bring. Songs about swimming pools remembered on sticky summer nights, lovers meeting at discotheques, streets where you used to live. Let’s just try to be as much of us as possible, Brand decided during the recording process. In that, Miniature Tigers have written a record that’s eminently relatable, passionate but not without a healthy sense of perspective. Recorded in Jamaica with producer Chris Zane (The Walkmen, Passion Pit) the album sounds as freeing as the process felt. “There was just a different energy there, a different energy in such a relaxing environment,” he says. “Everything came very naturally.” That’s fitting of a record where Brand wanted to capture the way a relationship—and through that, life—really felt. “Not necessarily something that was good and got bad,” he says, “but the ups and downs of it.”

Tour Dates

02.28 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall*
03.01 – Philadelphia, PA – The Boot and Saddle*
03.02 – New Haven, CT – The Cave*
03.04 – Washington, DC – DC9*
03.05 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter*
03.06 – Savannah, GA – Savannah Stopover
03.07 – Atlanta, GA – The Drunken Unicorn*
03.08 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon*
03.09 – San Antonio, TX – Limelight^
03.10 – McAllen, TX – Galax Z Fair @ Cine El Rey
03.12 – Austin, TX – Banners SXSW Showcase @ Sidebar Lounge, 4:00pm
03.13 – Austin, TX – Karma Lounge (Official SXSW Showcase), 12:00am
03.14 – Austin, TX – Sonicbids SXSW Showcase @ Maggie Mae’s, 3:30pm
03.15 – Austin, TX – Waterloo Cycles SXSW Day Party, 3:45pm
03.15 – Austin, TX – Wild Honey Pie Showcase @ Cheer Up Charlies’, 6:00pm
03.17 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt*
03.18 – Indianapolis, IN – Radio Radio*
03.19 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle*
03.20 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig*
03.21 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern*
03.22 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe*
03.23 – Columbus, OH – The Basement#
03.24 – St Louis, MO – The Firebird#
03.25 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada#
03.27 – Phoenix, AZ – The Rhythm Room#
03.28 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room#
03.29 – Los Angeles, CA – Roxy Theatre#
03.30 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop#
04.01 – Salt Lake City – The Shred Shed#

*with Bear Hands, Total Slacker
^with Bear Hands, GRMLN, Total Slacker
#with Total Slacker, Flashlights