Brooklyn-based Miniature Tigers are a quirky baroque and synth pop outfit centered on singer/songwriter Charlie Brand. Formed in Brand's hometown of Phoenix, Arizona in 2006, the group initially began as a solo bedroom-recording project. The resulting material paired his acoustic guitar with a wide range of pop influences — the Cars' strut, Weezer's snark, Phil Spector's polish — and Miniature Tigers soon inked a deal with Modern Art Records, a label co-founded by fellow Phoenix-based group Chronic Future. With drummer Rick Schaier, guitarist Algernon Quashie, and bassist Alex Gerber also on board, Miniature Tigers released the breezy Tell It to the Volcano in September 2008.
Between the cross-country tours that followed, Miniature Tigers found enough downtime to pull up stakes and move to Brooklyn, where Brand began writing songs that were more experimental and ambitious, with a wider range of instrumentation. Members of Neon Indian and the Morning Benders were enlisted to produce the material, which was recorded in upstate New York and released in summer 2010 as Fortress. In 2012, Miniature Tigers showcased even more stylistic growth, weaving in '80s new wave influences on the synthy, dance-oriented Mia Pharaoh. Two years later, they delivered the similarly disco and synth pop-infused Cruel Runnings, featuring production from Chris Zane (Walkmen, Passion Pit). After a brief hiatus, they returned in 2017 with I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy, a loosely structured concept album about being in love. ~ Andrew Leahey