Timber Timbre stops you. The elements are deceptively simple: a confident, but hushed voice, understated guitar, strings and keyboard flourishes, and a subtle percussive beat. Timber Timbre, led by guitarist/vocalist Taylor Kirk, is haunted by the history of pop music.
Over the course of three records, 2006’s Cedar Shakes, 2007’s Medicinals, and 2009’s self-titled, Timber Timbre has gained a devoted following with their spellbinding performances at unusual venues around Toronto and more recently supporting Owen Pallett across Canada and his first ever U.S. tour. The years have also marked a rapid progression from dusty, low-fi bedroom blues to the sophisticated, cinematic studio work, and the formation of the band as a true three-piece, with Kirk joined by Mika Posen on violin and Simon Trottier on lap steel, autoharp and synth.
Originally released in Canada in January, Timber Timbre received an international release through Arts & Crafts last Summer. Response to the album has been tremendous, a groundswell building up through genuine word-of-mouth that led to a Polaris Music Prize long-list nomination, the cover of Toronto’s Eye Weekly in July, who declared it, “Album of the Year”, to being named as the “#1 Album of 2009” by the “Cross-Canada Critic’s Poll”, landing Timber Timbre back on the cover of the Eye Weekly, their prediction having come true.
The album beat out Girls, Dirty Projectors, The xx and Animal Collective. In the U.S. tastemaker radio stations KCRW in Los Angeles and KEXP in Seattle were quick to jump on board. Timber Timbre performed on both stations last fall, including KCRW’s famed “Morning Becomes Eclectic”. NPR championed the band at SXSW 2010, filming a stripped down performance at the gorgeous Driskill Hotel.
Timber Timbre is a stunning record that captures the listener’s attention with what is there as much as what is not. The sum of the parts, however, is something grounded in a strange place where genre descriptions like blues, country, and folk intersect becoming secondary to the precision of the moods being conjured.