John Jagos, aka Brothertiger, has been making sunshine synthpop since 2009 and upon listening to his latest release, “A Chain of Islands“; I can’t help but be reminded of how I discovered him; opening for TEEEL at a very small venue in Metro Detroit for only a handful of people. Even then, just starting his career and still living in Ohio; he absolutely had something special that made you stop and take notice. I was instantly smitten.
Upon listening to any of his works, I find myself transported to the back of my mother’s 1984 gold Pontiac Sunbird; with similar shimmering synthpop sounds resonating from the car stereo, as the brightness of the sun and the warmth of being with family on any given outing fills my heart and soul. There’s a certain comfort that is echoed in this memory for me upon each listening to any of Brothertiger’s songs. There’s an optimistic, positive outlook captured within his tracks. This new EP especially holds these aesthetics with it’s cover art, references to flight, nature, and water, all of which is paired with the general overall travel theme; that sometimes even ends up feeling like some kind of resort /chill out /tribal music curated specifically for a tropical trip.
This album seems perfect for moving out of the winter doldrums and into the warmer weather, with a fresh sound that is somehow melding the indie Chillwave genre (Washed Out, Wild Nothing etc. ) with nods to the likes of more standard 80s synthpop and sophisti-pop; (there’s a reason he released a full cover album of Tears for Fears “Songs from the Big Chair” and his version of Level 42’s “Something About You” is also not to be missed.)
The final track even offers a saxophone solo. What more could you possibly want?
Suggested tracks: “Shallow”, “To Dust”, “Prideland”; but it’s a short, five track EP and they really are all great. Highly recommended.