Beach Tiger
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Beach Tiger

Charleston, South Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Charleston, South Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Rock




"Review of "Mind Make""

Why do we like this?

Charleston quartet Beach Tiger isn't just your everyday run of the mill indie pop/rock outfit, they're something much more inspiring.

That's the impression I got off their sophomore single "Mind Make," which is just a delectable bit of piano tinged brilliance.

Softly spoken but highly intricate harmonies are key here, and this group does it so earnestly. It's a simple recipe that ultimately guarantees success in this industry and I can't wait to see what's in store for these guys. - Indie Shuffle

"Review of "Mind Make""

When a track is tagged as "indie-rock" or "alternative", we can typically dismiss it for having a run-of-a-mill sound. However, we are glad we did not make this mistake with four-piece band Beach Tigers' second single, "Mind Make". Hailing from South Carolina, the band is fresh to the music scene, and although they have a relatively successful debut track out, their newest offering here embodies a more unique sound. The vocals are something to admire, and the production counterparts, too shouldn't be dismissed. Their sound is carefree, groovy, and relaxing, and with that captured on this second track, we are very excited to see where their next work released will land. - Hilly Dilly

"Bask In the Warmth of Beach Tiger's "Mind Make""

There’s a certain sweetness to the ability to turn up a song, close your eyes, and drift into a daydream. Whether you’re stuck inside under artificial lights or basking in the warmth of the sun, Beach Tiger’s song “Mind Make” is sure to whisk you out of the everyday and into a fairy tale – if only for a moment.

Released in early February, “Mind Make” is at once a love song and a lullaby: Soothing and vibrant, its gently rocking piano melody instills a layer of nostalgia for greener pastures, while percussive hits brighten the verse like dewdrops shining in the early morning sun. Essentially, “Mind Make” embodies the quintessence of summer.

Based out of Charleston, South Carolina, Beach Tiger rose out of the ashes where Clemson folk rock band the Tarlatans once stood. Sporting three out of the Tarlatans’ four founding members – lead singer Taylor McCleskey, bassist Eric Mixon, and drummer Blake Shorter – Beach Tiger offers a distinctively indie rock/pop sound dripping with warm, feel-good psychedelia influences. “Mind Make” follows four months after Beach Tiger’s debut single “Just Woke Up” introduced the group’s new identity and musical direction – meaning that “Mind Make” is only the second song to come from Beach Tiger so far.

And what a song it is: Dreamily swirling in colorful reverb and bouncing along with a head-bob friendly beat, “Mind Make” emits the kind of positive charm that can only come from song. McCleskey’s vocal has a cheerful, easy lilt, and he carries those emotive qualities with him into an infectiously catchy chorus line, singing, “I just want to make you, make you / I just want to make your mind.” Indeed, he has made our minds and then some.

“My muse for this song is my wife, Lindsey,” McCleskey told me. “It’s about our story, but I like it because it’s a pretty universal love song. The guy just wants to make up the girl’s mind that he is the one for her. My wife is a conservative kindergarten teacher who never imagined she would fall for a boy with long hair, skinny jeans, and wore tank tops at shows/dates. She took some convincing [laughs].” Sincere emotions drove this song’s creation, and that sincerity flows vividly through McCleskey’s voice.

In email exchanges early last month, McCleskey noted to me how “Mind Make,” being the love song that it is, was perfect for the then-upcoming Valentine’s Day: “I dig it because it’s all about letting life happen freely – without forcing it. Too many times I tried to force love. I met Lindsey when I was solely concentrated on my band. I didn’t want a girl, and then BOOM she came into my life. The bridge is all about once that person finally does come into your life… work your butt off to keep them around.”

That was just after the song’s release, when it was a relatively unknown sound bite. In the transpiring month, “Mind Make” has garnered over 11,000 listens on SoundCloud – an impressive number for the still-fresh act, made all the more noteworthy when one considers how Beach Tiger’s debut single, “Just Woke Up,” has racked up a smaller number of listens in a much greater time frame.

Listeners are flocking to “Mind Make,” but that isn’t much of a surprise. “‘Mind Make’ is lighter in attitude. The production is more plush and soft feeling,” whereas “‘Just Woke Up’ is an in your face, from start to finish type of jam that tackles some deep, dark underlying content,” says McCleskey. “‘Mind Make’ is simply… Hey, ain’t life great.” No doubts there.

High above the balance beam
Up on the silver screen
Inside my future dream
Clear from ruby red
Back lit and candle spread
Hang on to what you said

Perhaps that mystery ingredient giving “Mind Make” its delectable flavor is Beach Tiger’s genuine passion: This song comes from a place of honesty and innocence. The music and lyrics are completely in sync with one another, allowing McCleskey and co.’s love – for another, and for their craft – to shine through.

Let yourself slip into Beach Tiger’s embraces, and join Atwood Magazine in watching Beach Tiger grow over the coming year. We expect big things, and cannot wait for what’s to come! As for now, we will continue to pump “Mind Make” on repeat, basking in the warmth of a lover’s psychedelia-tinged dreams. - Atwood Magazine

"Review of "Mind Make""

Dive with me into a sublime river, its currents flowing with dreamy languor through a wide delta and into a beautifully shimmering sea. That river’s name is Mind Make, and it’s the second song just announced from Charleston four piece Beach Tiger. The indie rock quartet bring us that psychedelic wooziness and simmering pensiveness that first grabbed hold of me on debut single Just Woke Up, once again reeling me in with their sun kissed luster and sugary synths. - I Heart Moosiq

"TRACK OF THE DAY: Beach Tiger – Just Woke Up"

Charleston four-piece Beach Tiger bring us a woozy cut of irresistible psych pop in ‘Just Woke Up’. Buoyant, lingering melodies meet chiming guitars, a bouncy drum beat and atmospheric keys in blissful union, ‘Just Woke Up’ is a vivid and honest admission of insecurity and self-doubt.

Lets face it, sometimes our inhibitions and fears do get the best of us, but we just have to pull ourselves out of those mindsets and push restart. And that’s what ‘Just Woke Up’ intends to do – to let go of the insecurities and move on. I think we can all learn something from small truths like these. - Bitter Sweet Symphonies

"Tarlatans Change Name To Beach Tiger, Find New Sound"

Some bands change sounds completely over the course of their career, others get trapped in a style and have trouble escaping the confines of a name. For Taylor McCleskey, Eric Mixon, and Blake Shorter the last four years have brought plenty of life changes, from graduating from Clemson and moving to Charleston, having a close friend and bandmate in Ryan Williams amicably leave the band, and frontman McCleskey recently getting married, these are the types of things that often break up bands, but that’s not the case for Beach Tiger. Formerly known as the The Tarlatans, the decision to change their name wasn’t an easy one, and in fact weighed on them over the last year as they recorded demos and experimented with new sounds much different than their roots-rock and folk beginnings.

In March Beach Tiger gave us a glimpse of the new sound with their song on our 2015 Sampler. “Here” is heavy on effects and keys, with guitars used much more for accent than rhythm, that song opened up a whole new world for them sonically. Recorded in their adopted hometown of Charleston, Beach Tiger went in the studio with Wolfgang Zimmerman (Brave Baby, Susto, ET Anderson) where Zimmerman pushed them to find their new sound.

“Wolfgang actually was the main catalyst for the creation of Beach Tiger.” said McCleskey via email. “While we were still technically The Tarlatans I remember bringing in new demos to him (that would eventually become Beach Tiger songs) and complaining about the fact that although I love them I knew they would never exist outside of my bedroom studio because they were not right for The Tarlatans. Finally he looked at me and said (I’m paraphrasing), “Dude, just start a new project and relax.” So we did.”

With Zimmerman’s encouragement the band changed up their live setup, played some shows and ended up reaching out to an old friend in Kyle Patrick, a Berklee School of Music student who left in his third year to join The Click Five as their lead singer, to record “Just Woke Up” heard here.

“We (Patrick and McCleskey) met on the lacrosse team and he is one of the main reasons I play music today. He’s long been my musical mentor. Working with Kyle on our debut single “Just Woke Up” has been nothing short of enlightening. He is on a whole different level. He is one of the most talented, creative, skilled, focused producers we have had the pleasure of working with. He’s also extremely patient – we have definitely tested that. We as a new band have had extreme moments of insecurity and doubt that he has had to intervene on, and more than a time or two he has had to talk us off a ledge.”

Beach Tiger have found new life and excitement in their new name and sound, opening doors previously closed off and fitting in with a sound fitting of their Charleston surroundings. Now they’re starting over, but with a strong base support of fans and the wealth of knowledge they learned while they were The Tarlatans. It helps that the many of their fellow South Carolina bands are making moves, and it’s a scene they’re proud to be a part of.

“I believe South Carolina as a whole is becoming a musical force. I’ve often toyed with the idea of persuading the band to relocate somewhere else to foster more industry connections but at the same time there really is a magic down here right now that we would be foolish to abandon.”

McCleskey knows they’re a part of that magic. - Scene SC


Coming scorching out of Charleston, South Carolina, our SOTW for this week is brought to you by Beach Tiger. The quartet of Taylor McCleskey, Eric Mixon, Blake Shorter, and Zac Crocker give an awesome introduction to their music with a proper debut single called ‘Just Woke Up’. The breezy and bright tune carries itself just fine with a catchy hook, melodic guitars, and some psychedelic synths, providing vibes just about anyone can latch on to. Cheers to you dudes... - Site of Sound

"New name, new sound: Beach Tiger replaces The Tarlatans with indie-pop style"

A band is often like a mythical phoenix. It can die, but something always seems to rise from the ashes.

Such is the case with the Tarlatans, an Americana-rock group formed in Clemson that was based in Charleston for about three years. They played regularly at special events and local venues such as the Royal American and the Pour House until about a year ago, when the band’s name started to fade from the local music scene.

Then along came Beach Tiger, which made its debut at the Jail Break arts festival in October. They played a set of rhythmic indie pop, bearing no resemblance to the Tarlatans’ brand of folk-rock.

Without knowing the back story, you wouldn’t have guessed that the guys on stage included three of the Tarlatans’ four founding members.

Beach Tiger’s lead singer Taylor McCleskey explained earlier this week that when one of the Tarlatans’ founding members, Ryan Williams, wanted to leave the band last year, the remaining three members (McCleskey, bassist Eric Mixon and drummer Blake Shorter) decided to stick together and pursue a whole new sound.

“We reached a fork in the road where we wanted to go do a different style of music, and the other singer (Williams) was like, ‘You know what, I wouldn’t mind going solo and doing my own thing,’” McCleskey said.

The Tarlatans were phased out — no farewell shows or big announcements on Facebook — and Williams moved to Greenville with his wife. It was an amicable split, McCleskey said, because the two vocalists had sparred on artistic direction for so long.

“We had such different writing styles and we came from such different backgrounds. ... I love pop music and he loves old, outlaw country like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson,” McCleskey said. “He would try to convince the band like, ‘Let’s write this old-school country song,’ and I’d be like, ‘No, let’s try to write this power pop anthem song.’ And it just created so much tension.”

To maintain a middle ground, McCleskey said both band leaders got in the habit of fitting the mold of the Tarlatans rather than writing songs they would prefer to play and listen to.

Once McCleskey started experimenting with his own music in his bedroom studio at night, the seed of Beach Tiger was planted, and that was “the beginning of the end” for the Tarlatans, he said.

Since Williams and the rest of the band went their separate ways, everybody seems to be happier, he added.

“It feels good to be living out your truth, and it’s good for Ryan, too. We’ve become closer friends since he left the group,” he said, adding that Ryan is working on new music. “I’m excited to see where his career takes him.”

To round out the new band, McCleskey, Mixon and Shorter hired their longtime friend and keys player Zac Crocker, a Greenville native who recently moved to Charleston.

While they could have continued with the same band name, all the members agreed it was time for a fresh start. McCleskey thought of the name Beach Tiger pretty soon afterward, and it stuck because nobody could think of a better alternative. While there’s not really any deeper meaning to the name, it is easier for people to remember than the Tarlatans.

“With the Tarlatans, if we were in a loud bar and we had just played, and somebody was like, ‘Hey, what’s your band name?’ ... They would be so confused, they’d repeat it back to us and they’d say it wrong,” he said. “Beach Tiger, those are two very distinct words, that if we’re in a loud bar, and you want to know who we are, you’re going to know how to spell it, you’re going to be able to Google it when you get home.”

The group has released a debut single, “Just Woke Up,” available through iTunes and most major streaming platforms such as Spotify and SoundCloud. They’re working on the full-length album with New York producer Kyle Patrick and local recording engineer Ryan Zimmerman, who’s produced other Charleston-based artists such as SUSTO, Johnny Delaware and Hermit’s Victory.

McCleskey said the recent successes of those bands and several others have found in the Lowcountry encourages Beach Tiger to stay planted here.

“Right now, I think there’s a really cool musical movement happening in Charleston,” he said. “I’d like to be part of the fabric of what’s happening here. I think if we keep going in this direction, I think the music industry is going to place the spotlight on Charleston.” - Charleston Scene

"The Matinee December 18"

Beach Tiger is from Charleston, SC and they are creating the perfect mix of indie rock with that magnetic pop feel. “Just Woke Up” is upbeat and one that you can easily move along to.

“Just Woke Up” is their debut track and it’s very promising for this newly formed quartet. If you dig the single as much as we do, you can purchase the single on i-Tunes. - The Revue

"Indie Rock | Beach Tiger"

New local band Beach Tiger — featuring Taylor McCleskey on vocals/guitar, bassist Eric Mixon, drummer Blake Shorter, and Zac Crocker on keys/backing vocals — recently released the radio-ready, indie-pop track “Just Woke Up.” The single was mastered by Joe LaPorta (the Killers, Vampire Weekend) and co-produced by Beach Tiger, Wolfgang Zimmerman, and Kyle Patrick, who fronts the Boston rock band the Click Five. Two days after its release, Beach Tiger performed their first ever show at October’s Jail Break festival, and now they’re gearing up to release two more singles by the end of the year. “I feel we’ve entered a time in music where focusing on singles may be more beneficial to start-up projects,” says McCleskey, who first got acquainted with producer and Brave Baby’s Zimmerman when the Beach Tiger frontman played drums on SUSTO’s self-titled debut record. “Once something catches on, we’ll take time to record a full-length.” - Charleston City Paper

"Beach Tiger - Just Woke Up"

Beach Tiger is a four piece indie rock band based out of Charleston, SC with a musical palette colored with plenty of psychedelic wooziness and simmering pensiveness. Debut single Just Woke Up is utterly captivating with its lush layers of muggy synths and a melodic haziness. The new quartet matches their song’s lyrics flawlessly with the song’s dazed vibe. I feel like I just woke up, and after shaking off some initial grogginess, Beach Tiger has me invigorated with intricate music magic... - I Heart Moosiq

"Beach Tiger Delivers Sun-Soaked Vibes with ‘Mind Make’"

Morning got you down? Beach Tiger’s latest sun-soaked, dreamy single “Mind Make” is the new cure-all for any weekday blues. Just try to keep from swaying to the track’s blend of delicate piano melodies and slow, heavy beats — it’s nearly impossible. So, we can’t guarantee that this track will transport you to paradise, but we can assure you that it’ll leave you feeling pretty darn close. Currently, Beach Tiger is touring their home state of South Carolina. If you’re in the area, be sure to check them out and let their summer vibes lull you into warmer, happier times. - The Wild Honey Pie


"Just Woke Up" /// Single /// October, 2015

"Mind Make" /// Single /// February, 2016

"Companion" /// Single /// June, 2016



Beach Tiger is an alternative rock band based out of Charleston, SC. The group consists of Taylor McCleskey (vocals / guitar), Eric Mixon (bass), Blake Shorter (drums), and Zac Crocker (keys / backing vocals). The band is known for heavy groove based songs, catchy melodies, hazy synthesizers, and ethereal guitar effects. 

The group formed last year (2015) and has already seen over 150,000+ streams across Spotify and Soundcloud for their first two singles ("Just Woke Up" + "Mind Make"). Gaining attention from the music blog world (i.e. Indie Shuffle, Hillydilly, The Wild Honey Pie, and others) has helped in their quick rise from obscurity.

McCleskey, Shorter, and Mixon met while attending school at Clemson University. Crocker finished the line up during the completion of their first single "Just Woke Up".

Band Members