Olive Tiger is an evolution of sound and texture: a nontraditional trio hailing from New England that lushly combines electronics with organic elements of chamber-pop, defying the boundaries of genre in favor of obsessive exploration. Grounded in the stunning songwriting and soaring voice of its bandleader, Olive Tiger arcs continuously toward more meticulous, more rich and more seductive arrangements.
Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Olive Tiger orbits the vision of singer-songwriter and musician Olive (cello, guitar, vocals, looper), joined by Jesse Newman (violin, electronics), and John McGrath (drums). In 2016, the group asserted its powers and range with a debut full-length record, Until My Body Breaks (Telegraph Recording Company). Pulling thoughtfully from artists like tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent and Andrew Bird, Olive Tiger created with refined curiosity a collection of detail-rich songs that evokes a broad spectrum of images and emotions—all awash in rich arrangements, elevated by Olive’s pristine and haunting vocals.
Since the project began in 2013, Olive Tiger has garnered growing attention for its work; in January 2017 the band was named Emerging Artist of the Month by The Deli Magazine, and received a 2017 nomination for Best in State during the New England Music Awards. Olive Tiger has also shared the stage with acts including Kishi Bashi, Xenia Rubinos, Kyp Malone, Rubblebucket and Diane Cluck—kin in sonic exploration. The band is currently touring its full-length record with dates throughout New England, and has played everywhere from the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, to The Ballroom at the Outer Space, the Bowery Electric, the park at MASS MoCA and New London’s I Am Fest.
The band flows from Olive’s creative well, an inspired, strong and sensitive force. Even the band’s most electronic offerings are grounded deeply in the human and the vulnerable; Olive writes from personal experience—heartbreak, hope, healing and growth. Translated into the language of the band, the result is a soundscape upon which Olive takes captivating risks and delivers unpredictable melodies.
With a Master’s Degree in music therapy, Olive founded the project as a deliberate space for growth and expression, engaging with music as an emotional transaction of energy. Listeners have responded in kind, placing Olive Tiger among Connecticut’s most notable up-and-coming musicmakers. With a shifting array of collaborators, Olive’s philosophy toward creativity quickly carried the project from its folk-jazz roots to a spacey plane of experimentation in 2013, when she began to manipulate her voice and cello with a looper pedal. The evolution is only set to continue.