Mary Timony Band The Shapes We Make

Though her latest release marks her third label in as many albums, Kill Rock Stars feels like the best fit for an idiosyncratic artist like Mary Timony. For her last solo record, Ex Hex (on Lookout!), Timony moved away from the baroque-laced, keyboard-heavy prog rock she mastered in Helium and became preoccupied with on her Matador records. Technically reinventing herself with her titular band (Devin Ocampo returns on drums, with Chad Molter now on bass), The Shapes We Make extends her stay as a more straightforward indie rocker, though with this guitarist there is always plenty of room for tangents. Single "Sharpshooter” is to the point and arguably her most approachable song to date. From there, The Shapes We Make follows a fairly unbent path; it’s not her most intrepid effort but it sounds as if she’s having a blast, something she’s rarely expressed in the past. "Pause/Off” stands above the rest, pushing close to seven minutes in length, and it’s surprisingly full of beans compared to the other three songs that last more than five minutes. Combined with the prog-y synths, Timony goes off on a riffing rampage filled with trills and expansive power chords. Elsewhere, "Curious Minds” feels destined for arena rock encores with its fist-pumping breakdown in the middle, and "Window” proves she’s not over the rolling pianos and waltzing string sections just yet. Call it her most well rounded record, The Shapes We Make feels like Timony has a new lease on life. For a driven, unique musician like her, such a thing is bound to produce awesome results. (Kill Rock Stars)