Original, unfiltered and radiating tenacity, Tiberius b is a singer and producer adept at both emboldening audiences and offering them catharsis through diaristic songwriting.
Raised in the woods on a remote island in Western Canada, Tiberius’ take on pop music is as raw and electrifying as these early surroundings. After relocating to their birthplace of London, England in 2017, they traded the synths for a borrowed B.C. Rich Warlock guitar and swaggering downtempo beats, calling on influences from their parent’s CD collection like Portishead, Massive Attack and Blur for debut EP Stains.
In early 2020, while society spiraled out thanks to the newly-proclaimed global pandemic, Tiberius got a call from their uncle asking them to take care of their elderly grandmother in the remote Welsh countryside. Eventually, when she was moved to hospital, they found themselves alone in her house for six long weeks, during which the EP came to be.
Lacking their usual set-up, a local villager lent the electric guitar, and they went about relearning old synth songs on it, accompanied by logic preset beats. Pent up feelings and power chords combined, drawing Tiberius towards a new sound animated by the throws of isolation-cultivated adolescent angst.
Grounded by Tiberius’ years of songwriting experience, Stains effortlessly guides listeners through breakups, sexual awakenings, gender euphoria, isolation, psychedelic divinations and moments of complete exasperation.
“Big Deal” shakes off the debris of past heartbreaks, charging towards new loves with a sanguine stomp. Effusing the same unfuckwithable boldness as Tiberius’ lyrics, punch-drunk drums strut through an achingly sentimental guitar melody, solidifying the song’s joyful defiance.
The EP’s title track “Stains” on the other hand doesn’t sugarcoat their anger. Coming to a slow boil, the former reckons with the soft torture of watching an ex float through the world while you’re stuck languishing in their mess, complete with a shouty atonal breakdown reminiscent of Fiona Apple.
Peppered with exasperated UGH!!!s “Steps” rolls its eyes at the past with shady quips and heavy fed-up strumming. “I dropped acid on my own / crawled up the river on all fours / laughing maniacally HAHA / no no I’m not going crazy,” they shout, catapulting themselves towards the wide world beyond grief with every forceful word.
“Tears Into The Sun” looks at the bigger picture, reckoning with the loss of friends and family members, and wondering how their community can endure an increasingly inhospitable world. “If all of us who struggle to withstand the structure survive, then what will we live off of?” they sing, for all those trekking through life in the brambles outside of its government-advised trails.
A release rich with playful explorations of pop structures the EP jumps between moments of hopefulness and weltschmerz, offering fresh perspectives on the peaks and valleys of coming into oneself.