Compared to most of the dull-grey indie contenders coming out of Britain right now, West Yorkshire’s Tiny Dancers sound like they come from another planet. They play country-flecked psychedelic pop anthems to warm the cockles of your heart. Signed to Parlophone after only a handful of gigs and some sparkling early demos, Lions and Tigers and Lions comes hot on the heels of a couple of marvelous, magic dust-sprinkled 7″ singles. It seems like every other new band on the planet comes wrapped up in buzz and hype, but to these ears at least, Tiny Dancers are a band simply bustling with invention and downright excitement.
The lead track here, “20 to 9”, is an atmospheric, moonlit pop gem that recalls Echo and the Bunnymen as it builds beautifully towards its shimmering chorus release, whereas “Hemsworth Hallway” is pure sugar-rush Yorkshire country music — all twinkling vibraphones, twanging guitars, and swoonsome harmonies. “Russian Snow” is a kind of huge, crooning folk ballad which, despite its title, is about as cool as stamp collecting, but irresistibly brilliant nonetheless. Closing track “Going Away” sounds like a glammed-up ’50s wedding dancefloor stomper, but it’s trumped here by “Sun Goes Down” — a fantastic electrified redneck hoedown that bounds and buzzes for nearly five rootin’-tootin’ minutes.
Like all the best pop music, Tiny Dancers make music that, just for a little while, gets you out of your head and offers a bit of groovy, colorful escapism. The songs on Lions and Tigers and Lions are touching, catchy, ambitious, and silly, and promise even bigger things to come in 2007. Right now, though, Tiny Dancers are unquestionably a band to fall in love with.