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Miniature Tigers – I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy [2016]

Miniature Tigers – I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy [2016]

Like its titular Western hero, Miniature Tigers’ I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy is unpolished. Frontman Charlie Brand recorded pieces of his band’s fifth album on couches all over the country. When it came time to clean up his ideas for public presentation, he decided to keep things rustic.
That unfinished quality blunts Brand’s tendency toward the saccharine, imbuing a spongy, radiant song like “Crying in the Sunshine” with a very human melancholy.
The final product is a sunny collection of daydreams (the title track, featuring guest vocals from Brand’s girlfriend, actress Mae Whitman). Unexpected strains of pedal steel (“Pictures of You”). Warmly psychedelic acoustics that recall the Mamas & the Papas (“Wish It Was Now”) or Real Estate (“Dreaming”). Nestled in the album’s second half is the standout “Nobody Else,” where a sample of ’60s Jamaican singer Millie Small’s unique, high-pitched voice bubbles up and overflows into a lush wash of sound. I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy could be about a fantasy, but in the end it’s about the power and the limits of love in this reality.

Miniature Tigers remain a four-person band with keyboardist Rick Schaier, guitarist Algernon Quashie, and bassist Brandon Lee, but Brand was in the driver’s seat for Cowboy. SPIN called him at his now-permanent home in Los Angeles to talk about learning the dulcimer, working with samples, and painting the sun-faded Southwestern interior that serves as the album’s cover. [Source]

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