Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams

by Jonathan Powell Rating:8.5 Release Date:2014-04-08

Hot Dreams, Timber Timbre's fifth album, comes on like a Shirley Bassey meets Twin Peaks fever dream, all laid-back lounge and spy themed guitar, echoey vocals and relaxed soul. The album opens with 'Beat the Drum Slowly', a dramatic slow-build from a gentle vibraphone and a woodblock into an ominous love letter to Angelo Badalamenti. 

'Ominous' is definitely one word to describe the album. Without ever going over the top, all of the tracks are bathed in cool menace, even when they get emotional. The title track starts like a Cocteau Twins song from their Milk and Kisses era, but the underlying menace turns almost downright terrifying: "I want to follow up on all my threats and promises to you, baby... I wanna take all your air". The fact that Taylor Kirk pulls this off in the context of what is ostensibly a love song elevates this track to the rarified air of some of the great obsessive relationship tracks like 'Every Breath You Take' and 'The One I Love' (although it sounds like neither). 

'Resurrection Drive Part II' is pure detuned, 60s-influenced, spy-pop madness, with unsettling chimes, loose drumming and cool jazz vibes. Kirk's delivery of his lyrics is sincere, his gentle baritone always pleasant, warm, filling the vast spaces in the music with equal parts reassurance and uncertain dread.

Classifying the music is difficult - alt-folk meets dread-lounge as sung by Townes Van Zandt?  However it gets classified, this album is utterly wonderful; a fascinating listen, and definitely one of the most original to be put out this year, somehow assembling familiar pieces into a new soundworld which will linger. 

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