Band of the Day

2011.10.30

Timber Timbre

Spooky, spine-tingling gothic folk that's not just for Halloween
We reached the moon's false icy cauldron, and found the spirit that I crave.
lyrics from Black Water

Timber Timbre is a darkly atmospheric folk/blues band from Ontario, Canada. The project is named after a period in 2005 when founding member Taylor Kirk (vocals) began recording the group's first songs in a small wooden cabin near Bobcaygeon, Ontario. With Mika Posen (multi-instrumentalist) and Simon Trottier (multi-instrumentalist) added to the fold, the group self-released their debut album entitled Cedar Shakes in 2006, as well as their sophomore effort Medicinals in 2007. In 2009, Arts & Crafts released the group's self-titled LP, which was later nominated for a Polaris Music Prize. In 2011 the group released their most recent album, Creep On Creepin' On, on Full Time Hobby Records.

Timber Timbre might have songs that mention zombies, werewolves, and poltergeists, but don't mistake them for a Halloween novelty act. The Canadian trio's fourth full-length album, Creep On Creepin' On, is a spine-tingling collection of gothic folk and blues, with an occasional twist of doo wop. “Black Water” is melodically morose as Taylor Kirk sings “all I need is some sunshine” over quivering keys. You can imagine him being a vampire lamenting his inability to fraternize with mere mortals. Kirk's deep vocal register ranges from sinister to oddly intimate, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the melody creeps its way up through your headphones (in a good way). “Bad Ritual” is equally spooky, with sparse-yet-cinematic instrumentation, and lines like “I felt your poltergeist presence in the frame of the bed.” Background vocals of “oooh-ooohs” sound like a ghostly chorus and, combined with light strings, there's a hint of chamber pop influence that sneaks its way into the otherwise gothic blues song. The living dead make a special appearance in the lyrics of “Lonesome Hunter” (“and I've been feeling like a zombie baby, I am a zombie coming slow to your bed,” sings Kirk). Musically, however, it's a purely gothic take on doo wop melodies. “Too Old To Die Young” has a bluesier, grooving beat to it, but it still has a haunting feel. Even more haunting (yet brilliant) is the music video, which is a series of nightmarish illustrations that are constantly shape-shifting. A woman's eyeball transitions to a spider in a web, which transforms into a fly-human hybrid, only to shift again into a swarm of spider people. Timber Timbre's brooding sound probably isn't meant to be listened to every day, but this is by no means a paltry haunted house soundtrack. They are to the music world what Hitchcock and Burton are to the film world—that is, they have a knack for creating a distinctly creepy feel that you'll find yourself relishing in, Halloween or not.