Me The Tiger
Progress Productions

Swedish trio Me The Tiger deal in a specific form of electro-pop that eschews the genre’s cutesiest impulses in favour of delivering their songs with big rock-n-roll energy. It’s a flavour that makes perfect sense given their provenance; Sweden has a rich history in the most grandiose forms of pop and dance music, not to mention movements like power-pop that have deep roots in the nation’s indie and alternative scenes. Their long-awaited new LP Envy (the first since 2017’s “What is Beautiful Never Dies” and their debut for the venerable Progress Productions) shows a deep understanding of how to craft immediately catchy melodies, and deliver them in bombastic fashion.

The go-big-or-go-home delivery of these songs is very much a feature of Me The Tiger’s approach to synthetic music, taking songs that could have worked as twee little synthpop ditties and blowing them up to stadium size. Take for example “4:AM”; the toe-tapping synthwave verses are just a path to the deeply layered synths on the chorus, with vocalist Gabriella Åström leaning deeply into its refrain, selling it with a nice mix of confidence and just enough edge. It’s a well assembled track from a songwriting and arrangement perspective, with all the classic pop tricks in play, from a half-time bridge, a key change in the final chorus, and a sudden finish for punctuation. You can see the band using the same ideas across the whole record to great effect, such as on “Post Denial War” where it ramps up to a big symphonic chorus without changing the underlying rhythm, creating a feeling of gravitas more akin to The Birthday Massacre at their most anthemic than any other electronic pop act you’d care to mention.

If that approach has a drawback, it’s that the band’s inclination to go big on every song can rob some tracks of their power when listening to Envy as a complete album. It’s easy to lose some of the finer details that make “Vinterhj​ä​rta” work – the use of the old start-the-song-with-the-chorus’ melody gambit, the way it slides between English and Swedish from section to section – when it’s preceded by the equally big feeling “Zebra Cassette”, and its forceful yearning. Its no mistake that final track “When You’re Gone”, a pained rememberance of a friend lost to suicide, is the album’s biggest standout; on top of riding a killer, fist-pumping hook, the fact that it isn’t followed by another similarly outsized track really helps it settle into the listener’s mind. A little more variety in terms of tempos, or a slight tweak to the track sequencing could probably remedy the issue, but it’s really a minor concern in the grand scheme of things: Me The Tiger swing big every time, and more often that not they’re making contact.

Buy it.