Tiny Kingdoms – ‘I’ll Wait Around’

By Chris Hilson

Some bands keep you waiting years for new music, but thankfully Tiny Kingdoms isn’t one of them. ‘I’ll Wait Around’ is their second EP of 2016 and it’s one that will further enhance their growing reputation. Previous release ‘Stay’ found Tiny Kingdoms in typically inventive form as they combined pop punk melodies with a creative approach to songwriting that set them apart from the crowd.

With just nine months between the two releases you might expect ‘I’ll Wait Around’ to pick up directly where ‘Stay’ left off. While the creativity continues to flow as it did before, the biggest change is that Tiny Kingdoms have gone acoustic: not just for one song as many others do, but for the whole EP. Drummer Jake Newling said the change was “an attempt to step just a bit out of our comfort zone and to try something new” and it’s a decision that has produced near perfect results, the only criticism being that there aren’t more songs to listen to.

On the surface ‘I’ll Wait Around’ certainly sounds different to the rest of Tiny Kingdoms’ back catalogue, but it’s immediately obvious that a lot of thought has gone into the structure of the songs and how to accommodate the challenges that come with writing acoustic music. ‘Your Bones’ is a strong opening statement as Nico’s faultless vocals, softly sung for the most part, are complimented perfectly by the guitars and strings.

‘Goodnight’ is more stripped back but just as enticing. The reflective lyrics will have you hanging eagerly on every word and there’s a real sense of vulnerability courtesy of the uncomplicated production. The way that Tiny Kingdoms slowly build and then cathartically release pent-up emotion means that songs like the captivating ‘Wait Here’, which wouldn’t sound of place on Brand New’s ‘Deja Entendu’, pack an emotional punch that some bands strive for but never find.

Despite the apparent differences, ‘I’ll Wait Around’ is not the sound of a band separating themselves from what they’ve previously written, but one embracing it as part of who they are. As before there is a natural and unfiltered honesty to the songs, ‘Odds’ for example again finds them effortlessly contrasting bright catchy guitars with heartfelt and personal lyrics. Every once in a while a band emerges from their scene to offer something different. Tiny Kingdoms is that band, and you should join them on their journey.

CHRIS HILSON

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