Nov 30, 2009

Timber Timbre

Mood. Creepy, gloomy, yearning, mood... it weeps, like basement cinder blocks sweat in summer heat, from the songs of Timber Timbre alias Taylor Kirk.

I don't know who Kirk is trying to sound like, but by making that journey (or effort) he has arrived at a place most musicians never reach. This is music, or mood, that grabs you by the hand, the shoulders or the throat and that all depends on how much this music infects you. I literally sat up straight, my ears pricked up, and all other sound and vision melted away when I first heard Timber Timbre on my mp3 player. Stumbling up against songs like this is one of the best things about loving music... the discovery of a new favourite. But all this emotion would just wash over you if it wasn't for the voice of Kirk. It's the voice that catches, that sticks like black molasses. It demands attention, sounding familiar, mysterious, and enviable all at once. One of my favourites songs from the current self-titled release is "I Get Low". Now it would be very easy for me to say I get high when I listen to the song "I Get Low", but that wouldn't be the truth. I get... umm... I get (why does busy keep popping into my head) I guess I get let loose into a world that Kirk has pulled and twisted from his mind. Maybe I should have said set free, I enjoy a sense of freedom... there's a special freedom that comes from listening to music that moves you.

Only three albums in (2006's Cedar Shakes, 2007's Medicinals and 2009's Timber Timbre) and the promise Toronto's Kirk shows those who bother to listen, easily outshines the bluesy gloom he crafts so well. I've said it before - and I'm sure I wasn't the first - but now I'll say it again: 'the best songs are sad songs'.


Nov 26, 2009

Doveman: The Conformist

Doveman. The name sounds peaceful, it conjures an image of a large, a very large, soft feathered bird softly cooing from the upper ledge of a city building. Perhaps not the best image, or maybe the image you have is closer to a crime fighter a la Batman... Doveman, the Mahatma Gandhi of superheroes. Well, will you look at that, from cooing like a dove to kicking ass Gandhi-style... methinks you should lend an ear to Doveman a.k.a. Thomas Bartlett.

The latest Doveman record is called The Conformist, but it definitely does not conform to the music he has recorded and released to date. This new recording is bolstered vocally by guests such as The National's Matt Berninger, and by Bartlett penning much more accessible melodies, as if he's reaching out instead of turning inward as his earlier music would often seem to do. His recording and touring with The National seems to have rubbed off in the best possible way and I hear this most prominently in the song "The Angel's Share". Even without Berninger adding his voice to the song, the chorus would evoke many of the better, quieter moments of The National.

The Conformist is highly recommended. [BUY]