Blueprint Playlist: Tigerblind

Blueprint Playlist: Tigerblind

Welcome 2 a brand new Blueprint Playlist—where I ask artists with new music out to share five(ish) songs that have inspired or informed the songs in some way or another.

Today we have Tigerblind—a solo singer-songwriter project from Cameron McCrary, who's based in Dallas, TX. Tigerblind just dropped It's All Gonna Happen To You last month, an album that has the folk bones of the Byrds and the hook-y compression of Guided By Voices.

Fuzz, warmth, tambourine, wistfulness, gentle propulsion, the elusive property of JANGLE...this is one for the pensive folks who don't want to get too stagnant in their introspection, because the bass and drums will hustle you right along. I must shout out the DIY production, such as on "Make It Long," where McCrary harmonizes beautifully with himself over coils of acoustic guitar that make it sound like he's playing an instrument with 20 or 30 strings on it. Dreamy!

It’s All Gonna Happen To You, by Tigerblind
10 track album

McCrary sent over some songs that inspire his Tigerblind tunes. Check 'em out presently...

Tigerblind's Blueprint Playlist

"Statue of Liberty" - XTC

I like the art-y, introspective, refined XTC as much and maybe more than anyone else, but how can it get better than this when it comes to just pure jerky power pop. The movement in the bassline, keys, and vox playing off each other is unreal. All leading into that perfect chorus. There are more than a few gems in this vein from early XTC—"Science Friction" and "Meccanik Dancing" come to mind, but this is my favorite. Andy is a total genius, unparalleled.

"Johnny Carson" - The Beach Boys

Any nascent songwriter should be worshipping at the altar of Love You. How can something with such a goofy premise sound so downright tense? I could listen to that piano riff all day, and have! The way the vocals trade at don't YOU think HE'S such A is insane too. Any mention of any track from this album would be incomplete without pointing out how unique and disorienting some of the synth work is, but all in a good way! It's beautifully shambolic and yet speaks so coherently as an album. "Johnny Carson" stands out to me though because it's just such a strange sentiment and the fact that it works so well is even stranger.

"Double Life" - The Cars

I can't not mention this, cause of course the chorus here is where I got the title of my new album if anyone was curious. The more I write and the more I look at my five picks here, the more I'm seeing that I like tracks that sort of have this hanging, tense nervousness around them. Like it's never quite all the way there and it always leaves you looking over your shoulder. The guitar riff here is so brilliantly understated, and yet just like the drums, it's tensely chugging away the whole time. Broken up by that space-y guitar squealing and later blistering solo, and of course ending in that climactic parting of the clouds for the chorus again. It's sinister but it's not at the same time, some sort of mournful resignation on display here. Another undisputed highlight is the "when you idle at the stop light, you better get the signal right" line, so great.

"Elemental Child" - T. Rex

All Bolan is great, but for what it's worth my favorite is A Beard of Stars. I just absolutely can't get enough of that mystical folk stuff, it's like otherworldly complete. Just grabs you and takes you someplace else. The whole album alternates between manic, peaceful, playful, and contemplative—of course run through one of the greatest singing voices in musical history and delicious instrumentation and harmony that will enrapture you. I picked "Elemental Child" of course because of the protracted guitar freakout that takes up most of the run time, seemingly almost intentionally ushering out the Tyrannosaurus Rex era and paving the way for even more electric guitar. The guitar here has such a gritty and biting snarl to it, a lot of honk to it and yet it's also sharp as a razor. Crazy.

"Thing For You" - Alex Chilton

Got really into solo Chilton as I was finishing up the new LP. Many have remarked similarly before me, but this is really something I would not have understood or appreciated if you had asked me some years back when I just wanted to hear "September Gurls" and "Daisy Glaze." Thankfully, I get it now and realize the total brilliance - a pure act of subversion. There's a bone-dry sound to most of his solo stuff, mainly in the drums and vocals that really takes things to a next level. Everything's really defined, even the rhymes are clearly defined (who can argue against sexual/intellectual—lovely). The monotonous delivery when we all heard him howl out "O My Soul" a decade prior is where the beauty is. And at its core, this is still brilliant pop songcraft—the presentation just somehow manages to be dense and unwieldy in its sparseness, you sort of have to be in on it to really appreciate it. What's your sign, girl indeed.

Thank you Tigerblind! Check out It's All Gonna Happen To You! And thanks for reading I Enjoy Music. If you like it, tell a friend.