My Tiger My Timing “The fire is around the corner.”

16.04.09, Words by: Charlie Jones

“I made a resolution to take up Pilates and form the band. Now I’m only doing the band.” Anna Vincent is talking about forming My Tiger My Timing , a minimal and earnest London electro band that she sings and plays keyboards in. Jamie Harrison, vocals/guitar/bass, finishes the story: “We decided to set up the band at a New Year’s Eve 2007/8 party. January’s usually written off, this time we formed a band. We’d been wandering around in a dream-like state. Now the band is the dream. ”

We’re sitting around Spitalfields Market late on a chilly afternoon. They both seem really, really nice and pretty smart. They joined by Anna’s brother James, Gary Drain and Seb Underhill in the Arthur Russell-referencing, New Cross-based band, My Tiger My Timing. On their own label, Silver Music Machine, they put out pop music with its middle stripped. Their debut single, This Is Not The Fire, came out a few days ago, and it sounds distilled, concentrated – it’s electro with its bones showing. Anna: “We wanted to do something that was more about rhythm and texture, without any frivolous bits. We’ve been quite puritanical about the way we make up the song. If you allow yourself to do anything, it can be limiting, whereas a narrowed field can be freeing.” As Jamie says, even their visual element is stripped down, using only primary colours: “It’s become basic but vibrant, and the more striking for it, and the music is primary. Rhythm and melody. Texture and atmosphere. It’s almost a dissociative technique – you’ll listen, and realise that you’re hearing something created by a pop song. There’s something about a synthesiser that offers that difference of interpretation. You’ve totally taken away the emotion – you allow people to add it for themselves. “

If the idea of a south London band playing deconstructivist electro pop rings a bell, then it’ll come as little surprise that Hot Chip are all over this. Joe Goddard has produced some songs for them, joining Andy Spence from New Young Pony Club, who produced This Is Not The Fire. There’s a similar, almost unnerving not-fucking-about sense to MTMT’s plans, from releasing their music themselves, to playing in the with the lights off to prove they can. Jamie: “We never wrote down a manifesto, but we should have. Focus isn’t a dirty word. We rehearse the set for hours and hours and hours, so we can play it the dark, which we do.” Anna agrees: “That’s what the single is about – that moment before you unleash something, when you know the fire is just round the corner.” Jamie: “Even our name is determined… Ferocious and precise. It was either that or Super Bingo Bingo Time, which I still think is a great name.”

My Tiger My Timing’s myspace

This Is Not The Fire is available for download here. The next single is scheduled for late Summer, album in 2010.

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