Tiger Mendoza chooses some underrated tracks.
A main stay in the Oxford local scene, Tiger Mendoza has been putting out some interesting releases in the past few years. Featuring plenty of collaborations and a sound that flits between video game inspired all the way to lo-fi pop. Recently, we got chatting and I was eager to see what Ian's underrated tracks might be. So without further adieu.
For me, an underrated song is a track that makes you think “Why aren’t more people listening to this???”. It’s all relative I guess - there are probably underrated Beatles songs that are still listened to by millions of people whereas some bedroom producer may be happy with a few hundred streams of a new track they’ve just put out. But either way, these are five tracks I think more people should listen to regardless of how many people actually currently do. This could have probably been a much longer list but it’s probably good to cap it at five tracks (with a few extras) for now.
Chvrches - Warning Call (Theme from Mirror's Edge Catalyst)
If I had my way, Chvrches would be one of the biggest bands in the world. A really great combination of synthpop goodness with direct lyrics and bite. This is a track they wrote for the sequel to the game Mirror’s Edge - in itself a very underrated game in my opinion.
65daysofstatic - Tiger Girl
I’m a big fan of 65daysofstatic and We Were Exploding Anyway is probably my favourite album by them. Yes, this song happens to mention Tiger’s in the title, but honestly, why wouldn’t you love a 10+ min epic which sounds like Underworld jamming with Mogwai????
(see also their amazing remix of this Dismemberment Plan track)
Lou Barlow - Legendary
Lou Barlow is probably best known as one of the original members of Dinosaur Jr., or maybe part of Sebadoh, but he can also pull off some amazingly gorgeous and heartbreaking alt-folk songs when he wants to as well. This is taken from what I think was his first proper solo album “Emoh” which also has a lovely song about his cat.
Black Blood - Kirie Kirio
My Dad grew up in Tanzania and my parents met in Malawi so growing up there was a lot of African playing in the house. A while back my dad was going through his vinyl and I rescued the 7” of this which I started playing in my DJ sets. Everytime someone asks me “What is this??? It’s great!!!”
The Evenings - I Didn’t Remember
The Evenings were a great Oxford-based electro-pop and occasional cabaret band from the mid-00s. Seeing them live made me see the light in many ways and convinced me that maybe I should pivot from indie rock to electro and so Tiger Mendoza was born. Years later I got to play with The Evenings when they reformed for a couple of gigs and it was great!
Smashing Pumpkins - Try Try Try (Because Billy did write some great songs outside of Melancholy… and Gish!)
Melanie C - Gaga (No ex-Spice Girls track has any right to be this good. This is great though)
Sparklehorse - Shade and Honey (RIP Mark Linkous)
DJ Shadow - High Noon (The track that led to an obsession with DJ Shadow!)
Cholly - Anomaly (A dark and brooding slice of recent Oxford-based electro)
Middle-Class Rut - Busy Being Born (2-piece rock at its most brilliantly primal)
Click the boxes to listen to the tracks