Friday, January 23, 2009

If A Tree Falls In The Winter, Will Anybody Hear?

Yeah. I too am scratching my head at the picture above, which can be found on the artist page of this entry's label, Out Of This Spark. But as unsettling as a half-naked man beside a barbecue, WITH A DOG'S HEAD is, it's only half as unsettling as some of the material on Timber Timbre's self-titled album.

But I mean that in a good way.

I received this album at the station on the Friday before Christmas this December past and it was the greatest of early Christmas presents - the album has found a recurrent place in my CD player and has wormed its way under my skin. When I mentioned the album being unsettling above, what I mean by that is the material has a spooky tone, made more so by the instrumentation that accompanies the lyrics. I don't for even one moment mean BAD by saying unsettling - Timber Timbre carries some of the same tonal qualities as Nick Cave's Murder Ballads; an album I LOVE.
Consider the song "Lay Down In The Tall Grass" which is queued first in the player on Timber Timbre's Myspace page as of this moment. That organ has an eery tone to it with the left hand all languorous, draggin along just a hairs-breadth off the drum pattern while the right hand stabs out a chord pattern that echoes Bernard Herrmann's Psycho violin shrieks. When Taylor Kirk's vocals come in they have a detached, echoey vibe that reinforces the ghost's story he's telling (and yes, I mean ghost's story and not ghost story). "Lay Down" actually follows opener "Demon Host" which begins with lyrical references to willing for death and the Reaper's veil. This is not music for the faint of heart.
Perhaps the most ominous of the songs on the album is my personal favourite; "We'll Find Out." I don't know if there's a topic scarier than a soul laid bare for all to see. Desiccated bones and the spectre of death have nothing on a final judgement in my books. With Kirk's wispy warble joined by a chorus of voices the result is 'soul gospel' of a kind decidedly different than the Staples Singers and their ilk practice.

I'm kicking myself a little for not digesting this album fully before assembling my Best of 2008 list - and I'm scared to know that I'll be judged for this lapse. Somehow, they'll find out.

Instead of posting an mp3 to listen to, I thought I'd post part 1 of Timber Timbre's awesome performance for's Camera Music series. Check it out and when you're finished, go check out the Wooden Sky's rooftop performance as well.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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