It's a bit surprising that it sounds like he's having fun doing it, but then again, only someone with a black sense of humour could look around right now and think, "This would all be better with some '80s drum machines."
Kirk built a mystery around himself from the get-go with his menacing baritone voice, creaky folk songs and reputation for introspective/anti-social live performance. In 2014, he surprised with Hot Dreams, a more erotic affair with synths and saxes, but even then he was unhurried, still playing with shadows. On the new Sincerely, Future Pollution, Timber Timbre's sixth, he gives us "Grifting" — a Station to Station-era Bowie-style synth-funk space jam, and the smooth instrumental electro of "Skin Tone." Not to worry, it's still dark — sewers and fog and nooses and assassinations abound — but the playfulness that's always lurked now rises to the surface.
Written at home in Montreal and recorded in a studio outside Paris with bandmates Simon Trottier, Mathieu Charbonneau and Olivier Fairfield, Sincerely, Future Pollution is Timber Timbre's most confident record. The lyrics remain obtuse, but even if it's not clear that Kirk knows what he wants to say, he surely knows how he wants it to sound. The title track gurgles and rumbles with subterranean dread; "Sewer Blues" grinds like a dive bar dancer after last call.
Kirk has revealed that the record is meant to be a time capsule from the future, or perhaps a parallel universe, to our current selves. If his vision comes true, he'll have songwriting inspiration for years to come — it's gotten pretty bleak out there. (Arts & Crafts)