Highlights: Hot Dreams, Curtains!?, This Low Commotion, The New Tomorrow
There is a reason why Timber Timbre’s album covers are in black and white. And there is a reason why the cover of Hot Dreams has so much light to it. While this album does inhabit the familiar world of beautiful bleakness, it’s a little calmer, a little less rough around the edges than 2011’s Creep On Creepin’ On.
This band definitely does have a sound of its own. It’s dark and bluesy and yet it’s more than that. Hot Dreams is the sound of a nightmare that doesn’t scare you. It’s unsettling and yet somehow beautiful and even appealing. If there is a danger here it’s that the atmosphere will envelope you so effectively you will not notice how great the songs are.
I’d argue that the eponymous 2009 album had Taylor Kirk’s best songs, but this is still great, charismatic songwriting. Some of it sounds like it’s coming from the past – like the brilliant romantic ballad “Run From Me” that is this pretty but fairly unremarkable song from the old radio until the female vocals and the strings make it a minor Timber Timbre classic. “Hot Dreams” is more stylish romance, but it is never too smooth with this band. The arrangements of “Curtains!?” are unnerving and yet Kirk’s soft croon provides the perfect foil. The result is, as ever, intriguing.
Timber Timbre’s albums have this monumental, timeless quality to them. They have depth and they have personality. This album will take you places. You won’t listen to it too often, Hot Dreams does bring on a rather bleak feeling, but every time you will play it you won’t resist its unique charms.