Published Mar 28, 2014Their last record, 2010's Creep On Creepin' On earned Timber Timbre critical gushings, a Polaris Prize shortlist nod and growth in their international audience. Chances are that will all be repeated with this stunningly accomplished new album, their fifth. Timber Timbre are often misleadingly still termed a folk band, but it'd be more accurate to describe them in cinematic terms.
There's a widescreen Morricone-like quality to the sound, while a spooky sense of dread sometimes infers David Lynch. The strings of Mika Posen and a hefty arsenal of vintage keyboards (mellotron, novachord, farfisa, chamberlin) borrowed from Calgary's National Music Centre add resonant layers of sound, while never obscuring the rich and virile voice of Taylor Kirk. He proves himself a master of melancholy, as on the Tindersticks-like "This Low Commotion" and the gentle "Run From Me," but he and his comrades inject enough dynamic range to hold your attention throughout.
The title cut has a languid waltz-like quality, its air of eroticism boosted by the studly saxophone of Colin Stetson, and the pace picks up with "Curtains?!", driven by Kirk's insistent percussion and Simon Trottier's baritone guitar. That song and the following one, "Bring Me Simple Men," feature lyrics by Simone Schmidt (Fiver, The Highest Order), not that Kirk needs much help as a lyricist, given such deft wordplay as "You turned me on, then you turned on me" (from "This Low Commotion"). He and fellow multi-instrumentalist Trottier co-produced the record, with the mixing of Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire) the sonic icing on the cake. There are no false steps here in this forest of dreams.
Read an interview with Kirk here. (Arts & Crafts)