Tiny Manatee — Frusen Glädjé EP

Band: Tiny Manatee
Album: Frusen Glädjé EP
Release Date: January 13, 2012
Free mp3: “Nice Brave Clean Tea” (’til January 29!)

While listening to the first track off Tiny Manatee’s new EP, Frusen Glädjé, I thought the following: “No.” Also: “No to this band, and no to their music. I don’t think I’d be comfortable writing about them on Chicago Tunes.”

And then a funny thing happened. I kept on listening to Frusen Glädjé. Went right on through the thing as Tiny Manatee would probably expect its listeners to: from “Cookie Caves” to “Nice Brave Clean Tea” to “Knives.”


I must say, Tiny Manatee’s doomy gloom has grown on me some since Cully Johnston, their front man, introduced me to them and their music. Their messy rock sound might totally contradict my tastes, in a general sense, and yet there I was, digesting their music through the week. And now here I am, sharing with you my impressions.

As unnatural as it might seem, my suggestion is to listen to Frusen Glädjé in reverse. Begin with “Knives,” then spin “Nice Brave Clean Tea.” Finish it off with “Cookie Caves.” What this does, I presume, is it would initiate the curious more comfortably.

You see, the thing about Frusen Glädjé is its sound gradually becomes more accessible. Listening to “Cookie Caves” right off the bat might have you thinking what I had thought at the time: That Tiny Manatee is off putting. I mean, “Cookie Caves” lacks traditional framing, it seems dreary and dismal and, gosh, Cully doesn’t sound so hot.

But the record improved — for me, anyway — as tracks were followed by other ones. And then having gone through it, going back again and again — Frusen Glädjé is about 12 minutes — I began to, albeit slowly, appreciate Tiny Manatee.

Following Goldilocks’ lead, I’ve handpicked Frusen Glädjé’s middle track — “Nice Brave Clean Tea” — as this post’s mp3 handout for sitting so squarely in the middle of the album’s supposed aims. Neither too rough nor too soft, neither too loud nor too quiet, “Nice Brave Clean Tea” happens to be Frusen Glädjé’s happiest medium.


  • The Chicago-based Tiny Manatees is Cully Johnston and MaggieLane Laleman.
  • Free listens of Frusen Glädjé EP are available! Or purchase for $3. | Bandcamp
  • Frusen Glädjé was once a domestic company that made ice cream. I was curious, too. | Wikipedia
  • Unrelated, but Tiny Manatee isn’t the only Tiny band to get written about in this space. | Tiny Magnets

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About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
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