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Timber Timbre – Timber Timbre [Arts & Crafts]

November 11, 2009

Beautifully disturbed, Timber Timbre, the moniker of Canadian Taylor Kirk’s, self-titled album is followed by imagery of death, disillusion and the underworld. Giving DM Stith’s Heavy Ghost a serious run for its money as this year’s most haunted album, Kirk sounds like a young Johnny Cash if he’d sold his soul to the devil.

Eight perfectly composed, softly melted folk songs but all as foreboding and morose as one another makes this the album equivalent of a brilliant diamond cut into a skull and cross bones. But it’s the most exquisite skull and cross bones you’ll ever see.

Every track its own soundtrack, cinematic in mood and setting – the ghostly cowboys of ‘Magic Arrow’ stalking through the night or the dying embers of a revolving circus organ on ‘I Get Low’. Ominous and plodding ‘Until The Night Is Over’ is like the tune of a ghoulish music box dug up from the marshy lands of America’s deep south. Kirk’s somber vocals accompany every track to a bittersweet grave filled with old folklore and campfire tales.

Not even his love songs can escape The Tales From The Crypt-treatment, ‘Lay Down In The Tall Grass‘ captures Kirk’s twisted romance with lyrics like, ‘You tripped over my site, and dug me out of this shallow grave with your Swiss army knife…and only you could revive me, so badly decomposed, I was bone; white, dry and scaly…’

Timber Timbre follows on from 2006’s Cedar Shakes and 2007’s Medicinals, but unlike those early lo-fi predominantly solo efforts, loner Kirk has reached out his hand to a fistful of artists who’ve added the extra flourish so abound on this record.

Unfaltering in its style, roots and blues so lovingly spooky, like a brazen kiss of life from a forgotten spirit.

[Originally reviewed for Bearded Magazine]

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