If I hadn’t already heard this before and didn’t know better, on first listen to opening track ‘Demon Host’ I’d have guessed that this record was by M. Ward. It’s like when I first heard Stephen Fretwell and had to check that he wasn’t the lead singer of Sunhouse, such were the similarities in their voices. It’s really the fact that the voices were so distinctive that made me do a double check. And it’s the same here. M. Ward really does have a distinctive vocal style and Timber Timbre is as close to this as anyone I’ve ever heard. This record makes me think of the Transfiguration of Vincent, which is no bad thing because it’s one of M Ward’s finest moments in my opinion.
However, this record is a lot darker in tone and, essentially, the reason I’ve fallen for this record is that it’s the perfect late night soundtrack. Lying on my bed, reading or writing, with a glass of red wine, martini or port and listening to this on the ipod is about as perfect as any week night can get. Whilst generally sparse it does, at times, have a real bluesy growl to it. An undercurrent of darkness to what is essentially a beautifully restrained and sumptuous piece of music. Maybe it’s just me but I hear a lovely chunk of Nick Cave mixed into this record as well. The organ on ‘Lay Down In The Tall Grass’ springs to mind here. I could imagine Cave’s growl telling a tale of death and persecution over the top of this piece of music. However, for me, it’s the voice of Taylor Kirk that controls and contains the darker side of this record. I think this is actually essential, as without that control this could become a very bleak record indeed. However, it’s not. It’s quite splendid. The vocal controls the tone and takes the record to another place. It feels old. It feels edgy and it feels just right for this time of year. Remember the previous post about music I listen to at Christmas time? Well I can see this record becoming one of those in the future. You can check out Timber Timbre here. Enjoy.
TSP Grade = B+