It takes diligence to track the minor shifts and major changes Tigers Jaw has experienced over the years. Formed in Scranton, Pennsylvania a decade and a half ago, the group has undergone significant roster changes and refined their sound along the way. After a few years when they were officially a duo, the group is now a quartet, with every member contributing to the songwriting. They’re also releasing new music ahead of their sixth studio album, I Won’t Care How You Remember Me, due early in 2021. The first track that dropped, “Cat’s Cradle,” was a satisfying slab of Tigers Jaw’s established emo-rock sound, but the new single washes over the ears differently.
“Lemon Mouth” is full and lush, but also toughened up with tight rock craft. It reminds me of the mid-nineteen-nineties efforts of Lush, when they took their Cocteau Twins–adjacent etherealness and combined it with shoegaze fuzz, somehow conjuring up music that set aside the sonic drift that was embedded in both those forms. It is grand without being grandiose, driven by lyrics that artfully evoke a person in relatable flux. “If I don’t write it down I won’t remember/ If I don’t say it now it’s gone forever,” Brianna Collins sings, and it feels like a blurry image jolting into focus.