Exclusive Video Premiere: ‘I’ve Got Nothing,’ Tiger and Man

Although the track “I’ve Got Nothing” from Brooklyn-based duo Tiger and Man begins with a tranquil, angelic voice and soft keyboard, less than a minute in, it explodes into a slightly fuzzed, electro-pop anthem. Vocalist Tiger Darrow powerfully sings “You’re a wolf with your hungry eyes / I’ve heard stories you could hypnotize,” as grainy synthesizers, percussion, and bass layer on top of the keyboard. Premiering below is the stop motion video for the single, which comes from the duo’s self-titled debut EP (out this Friday, March 25).

“‘I’ve Got Nothing’ covers a broad range of subject matter when compared to most of our songs,” Darrow and Orkin say. “For us, the easiest way to define the lyrical content is the idea of someone or something that exhausts everything you have, leaving you with nothing left to give. We used the production and instruments to heighten the frustration, defeatism, and exhaustion in the lyrics.”

The video, created by Colin Marchon, echoes the range of the lyrics. From cutouts of schoolteachers to politicians and suburban families straight out of the ’80s, the video becomes a psychedelic montage when a seahorse emerges from a New York City subway station and a fish swims above cars driving in the middle of a metropolitan skyline. “I had this dream where I took the train to a weird undiscovered part of Brooklyn…and I go to this psychedelic zoo where I get to pet seacats—not catfish—and other post-revolutionary animals,” Marchon explains. “It made a lot of sense in the context of the song, which has this dual nature, and I wanted to contrast this amazing imaginary place with its antithesis: an equally twisted but readily available suburbia.”

Darrow and Orkin gave Marchon carte blanche, and the resulting video bled into the album artwork. “We created a small collective around our music, giving five painters complete freedom in their creation of our five individual pieces of album art,” the two explain. In addition to stimulating visuals by various artists, Tiger and Man was mixed by Grammy Award winner Scott Jacoby (Vampire Weekend, John Legend) and mastered by Grammy-nominated Emily Lazar (David Bowie, Björk). From start to finish, the writing and recording process is collaborative and the duo fleshes out songs with “rare classic synthesizers and old analogue gear” at recording and composing company Fall On Your Sword’s Brooklyn studios.

Despite the overarching electronic sound, they continue to say: “We tried to be purists about straying from using computerized sounds as much as possible. On the rare occasion that we did use virtual, computerized instrument, we usually ran the sounds through amplifiers or guitar effects to give them a bit of grit and edge.”