Seven months after the release of its acclaimed debut extended play “TABFH,” electronic indie pop duo — and recent Georgetown alumni — Tigers Are Bad For Horses released its new single “Embers” on June 7. “Embers” showcases what Mary Ellen Funke (SFS ’15) and Lyell Evans Roeder (COL ’13) do best: create dreamy landscapes with a unique instrumental and vocal diversity.
Ever since the group formed on campus in 2014 over a shared passion for electronic music, Funke and Roeder have channeled their artistic efforts seriously. Last year’s debut EP was marked by “Messengers,” which demonstrated Funke’s impressive vocal range and the duo’s ability to layer a perfect soundscape over a simple beat fading in and out of the mix. “Embers” expands on this foundation, but ultimately takes the song in a different direction as it builds to a crescendo toward the end of its 3:30 duration.
A sampled hip-hop style beat gives the song a strong base on top of which arpeggiated synthesizers, double tracked vocals and a thoughtful, yet sparse, keyboard arrangement shape the song into a wonderfully layered piece. “Embers” is a testament to Funke and Roeder’s expanding musical vocabulary and artistic maturity, especially as its rock solid production and clear jazz influence differentiate the band from the newly crowded electronic pop genre.
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The most obvious parallel to “Embers” is dream pop band Beach House’s song “Sparks” from 2015’s “Depression Cherry,” an album included on Pitchfork, Stereogum and Rough Trade’s “Best Albums of 2015” lists. The Baltimore duo formed in 2004 and had their first major break following the release of their debut album in 2006. Parallels between the two groups abound, and if the timely success of Beach House is any indication, Tigers Are Bad For Horses could be headed in the same direction very soon.