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Band Of The Week // TIGRESS

Tigress tackle the unrealistic expectations that we’re confronted with in their searing debut album, Pura Vida.

Tigress 2021

It’s not uncommon to feel a disconnect and pressures of unrealistic expectations caused by the technology we’re surrounded by. But instead of standing idly in the face of such feelings, Tigress tackle them head-on in their searing debut album Pura Vida.

With social media feeds saturated with filters and only the best moments of people’s lives, it’s easy to feel disgruntled about your own life and find aspects to dislike. As we cherry-pick our way through the snippets we share with the world, there’s a whole hidden side of dissatisfaction and grappling with unrealistic standards, and Tigress aren’t exempt from these experiences. However, they navigate through these feelings and urge you to take a step back from getting too absorbed with their gripping debut album Pura Vida.

The inspiration for the album came after vocalist Katy Jackson took a trip to Costa Rica, where she spent her time between an isolated beach hut and the Central American jungle. She reminisces, “That trip changed me. It made me realise how I was so self-absorbed. It made me think I wanted to live a purer life.” Tying this to the themes of the album, Katy elaborates: “The album is about confronting everything you don’t like about yourself, turning it into something you love, and leading a pure life from there.”

As the title may suggest, it’s an album that’s about trying to move away from the societal expectations that we feel inextricably bound by, and examines the superficial value we place on appearances. Thought-provoking and stirring, the lyrics invite you to re-examine held beliefs along to the band’s soundtrack that melds together elements of rock, indie, and grungy instrumentals. It’s a raw and blistering sound that matches the cutting songwriting style, for an experience that cuts to your core. From the finger-pointing and sarcastic opener Generation, to the pounding drums in Disconnect, the band takes you from the fiery end of the spectrum to a more mellowed-out and melancholic feeling in Starting Tomorrow, showcasing an array of emotions for a listening experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Feeling refreshed by the album, we spoke with the band further about their favourite moments of making the album, and what it means for them.

What’s a motto you live by?

Don’t just learn, experience. Don’t just read, absorb. Don’t just change, transform. Don’t just criticize, encourage. Don’t just think, ponder. Don’t just take, give. Don’t just see, feel. Don’t just dream, do. Don’t just hear, listen. Don’t just talk, act. Don’t just tell, show. Don’t just exist, live. Pura Vida, Pure Life.

If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?

It would be cool to play the album to someone with synesthesia. People with this condition can actually see colours coming from the sounds they hear. Play them the album and let them describe the colours that it paints for them.

If you could set Pura Vida to a TV show or movie, what would it be the soundtrack for?

If we had released this album 20 years ago it probably would have been the soundtrack for The Matrix. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.

What surprised you the most about making Pura Vida?

Actually finishing the thing. Writing an album is hard work, and at times it feels like you’ll never get it finished. Even when it is finished… it still feels like it’s unfinished… there’s always something you want to add or change, but you have to just let things go sometimes. Knowing when to let go is a difficult thing no matter what it is in life.

If you had to pick a ‘theme song’ from the album for each band member, who would be what song and why?

Tom’s would be Hungry. He can’t drive down the motorway without a couple of stops for nuggies and a big mac from Maccy D’s. No sauce though…it stinks.

Sean’s would be What The Hell? (I Feel So Unwell)… he’s such a hypochondriac!

Katy’s would be Choke… don’t mess with her… before you know it you’ll be tapping out from choke hold headlock!

Josh’s would be F.L.Y. …he’s the first one to throw himself out of a plane with a fly suit, narrowly missing the mountainous terrain as he soars through the air.

Jack’s would be New Friends…he’s a popular guy, everyone loves Jack, he’s always bringing new friends to the weekend pub crawl.

What’s your favourite memory from the process of making Pura Vida?

We recorded Pura Vida in the Outer Hebrides at Black Bay Studio. We were laying down some sick beats when two seals swam through the bay and up to the window. Josh was slamming the kit and the seals just peered through the glass nodding their heads in approval.

And finally, slightly cliché, but what does music mean to you?

Music is transportation to another world. It’s escapism. It’s pure emotion being fed into you intravenously through your ears. It’s incredibly moreish…