Review: Brothertiger – Golden Years

For Ohio native John Jagos AKA Brothertiger, the 1980’s is a time to be celebrated and presumably forms the inspiration for his new album title ‘Golden Years’. Much like Memory Tapes and M83 before him, it’s lush synth pop being revived here although Jagos’ music is said to fall under the considerably more modish “chillwave” banner.

Whereas many acts tend to frontload their album, Brothertiger takes a different approach. With its “ooh” harmonies and fairly dated simple electronic melody, ‘The Young Ones’ is no more than a scene setter and even the track which follows it, ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ veers towards throwaway synth pop. It is, however, a bubbly and infectious song.

Soon the airy charm of ‘Wind At My Back’ takes hold and from here  the album envelops the listener like a warm nostalgic blanket. ‘Too Convinced To Care’ is one of several compositions to capture the romance and intimacy of Junior Boys, things improve even further with the breezy tunefulness of ‘Reach It All’ whilst the first single ‘Lovers’ is an exercise in studied cool.

If there is one criticism it is that the light, breathy vocals of Jagos are just a bit too light and breathy to transmit any real soul but his music is usually involving enough to make this criticism redundant. Indeed, it may take a few listens to transcend its electronic facade but ‘Golden Years’ is a record which possesses far more depth than is initially apparent and ultimately, it’s hard not to be seduced by its subtle synth pop alchemy.

Web Sites:
Brothertiger Official Site

Further Listening:
Riding Paper Aeroplanes, Junior Boys, M83

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