Meet Minus The Tiger, the textbook example of musical expectation-dashing. At first, reading the list of the Dutch band’s quirks—naming the band after a dead cat, recruiting family members as bandmates, only rehearsing on Sunday mornings—is like reading a recipe for disaster. And then you listen to the music and any skepticism melts away. This is not the Partridge Family we’re talking about here; rather, Minus The Tiger just may be one of the hottest things coming out of the Netherlands right now.
Headed by singer/songwriter Anne Broekman—a curly-haired sprite with a silky soprano—and her husband, Maarten Besseling, Minus The Tiger crafts minimalistic dance-pop in the vein of Lykke Li and the Knife, with just a touch of anthemic flair. And before you ask, no, they sound nothing like their similarly named peers, Seattle’s Minus The Bear. Think layered concoctions, ethereal as candy floss and just as sweet. Most intriguingly, there are delightful notes of gothic gloom to balance out the poppiness: One listen to the frothing “No Have” is enough to reveal the remnants of post-punk angst mixed in with the catchy synths. Call it dance music that’s as heartfelt as it is floor-ready.
Even though Minus The Tiger has stuck to gigs in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, a group with a sound this slinky can’t stay secret for long. Broekman and Besseling will dip their toes in Atlantic waters later this year when they play Canadian Music Fest. In the mean time, fans should stay posted to the band’s Facebook page, which, despite being mostly in Dutch, has plenty of audiovisual goodies to build up the anticipation for the group’s debut LP, out April 9.
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