Tigercity have managed to mash an impressive amount of my favorite (both guilty and non-guilty) pleasures into one easy-to-digest dance-pop package. When cruising through their six-track EP, Pretend Not To Love, it is impossible not to pick up on their hints of Prince, Hall & Oates and Daft Punk. It is a bit '80s synth pop, a bit disco and even a bit electronic, providing just the right atmosphere for, as they'd say on Flight Of The Conchords, "business time."
The EP begins with "Powerstripe," an interesting song title as it brings to mind a certain brand of men's deodorant. Perhaps that was the point, especially with the aforementioned "business time" and the sweatiness that results from it. It is smooth synth pop, taking cues from the more laid-back tunes from Canada's Junior Boys. Breathy falsetto vocals and chilled production would have made this the perfect track on the Mannequin soundtrack, and I mean that in a good way.
Tigercity turns up the dance beats a notch on "Are You Sensation," pumping the synth bass like a Pointer Sisters jam and then slather it with a funktastic, harmony-filled chorus. Did I just time warp back to elementary school? I feel like running out to buy a new Trapper Keeper before school starts. If you happen to be a fan of handclaps, "Other Girls" is going to rock your world. I can almost see the video for this one, with frontman Bill Gillim decked out in a rad white suit, crooning into a mic while the band performs on a yacht, a la Duran Duran. Suddenly I really want to hear Howard Jones' "Things Can Only Get Better." Bring on those '80s jams!
Sometimes you need a long jam, which Tigercity offers up on their seven-minute mellow ballad, "Let Her Go." Hall & Oates only wish they had this kind of stamina. Filled with everything you'd want from this band, they offer a healthy dose of warm keys and falsetto vocals. Even though these guys do stick to a formula, it is one that they do very well. Next time you are having a co-ed slumber party, keep this EP handy when it is time to sneak into Suzy's sleeping bag.