Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin On album review

Timbre “Creep On Creepin’ On” with new LP

Thirsty? Zombies, vampires and spirits come gather – it’s nightfall and we’ve got a job for you…

After Canadian Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk, Mika Posen, and Simon Trottier received high praise for their self-titled album (including “best album of the year” and a nomination for the 2009 Canadian Polaris Music Prize), fans have been anticipating for two years what the blues-folk trio would come up with next. Creep On Creepin’ On is now available on Arts & Crafts Records, to deliver yet another dose of surrealism for their audience.

What could be considered Canada’s best kept secret of 2011, it’s almost impossible to compare Timber Timbre to other projects. There’s a striking comparison one can make though, from Kirk’s soft tenor vocals to those of Matt Berninger from The National – deep, lonesome, and hauntingly beautiful. The hollowness takes listeners on a spiritual journey with 10 dark, swoon-worthy tracks.

The opener “Bad Ritual” evokes that “6th sense” feeling that something is lurking nearby with a steady kick drum and piano plunk which raises the hair on our arms. We hold our breaths in suspense. Don’t be fooled by the romantic intro of harmonic strings in “Obelisk”; these instrumentals are indeed about to get blood thirsty. A Hitchcock high-pitched tone erupts with a unique layering of violins, twangy guitar, sharp plunks and screeches – it’s unpleasant and some may want to run for cover, crying, “I buried my head in? my hands, I buried my heart there in the sand,” which Kirk croons in the track “Creep on Creepin’ On.” Someone needs to get these boys some vitamin D pills, by the end of this album we’ll all be thirsting for sunshine.

At this point in the album Timber Timbre takes us into their heart: it takes us to the very geographical essence of their folk project over the years. The landscape is hot, rugged and isolated – and we have cabin fever. These artists put a lot of love into their music, and “Lonesome Hunter,” “Black Water” and “Swamp Magic” romanticize with nature. (Slow dancing with an alligator in the dark, anyone? Just me?) “Woman” has parallels to David Lynch’s 1977 surrealist film Eraserhead, and “Do I Have Power” is a jazzy upbeat Halloween number, with guest saxophone and instrumental mimics of creature howls in the night.

I’m not saying I ever want to get murdered in the woods, but if I did I’d want Timber Timbre to definitely be there. This is a solid album that deserves a good listen this year.

By Melisa D

City girl, educator/consultant, in love with the sound and sunny days.

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