The opening line of Timber Timbre’s “Black Water” could serve as the motto for the In the Dead of Winter music festival that takes place in Halifax at the end of the long, cold and bitter month of January. “All I need is some sunshine, all I need, all I need is some sunshine, all I need,” sings Taylor Kirk longingly. As anyone who has trekked through the North End of Halifax for this festival knows, a little warmth and sunshine would be nice, but a beverage and music is the perfect distraction from Mother Nature.
Timber Timbre is fronted by Kirk with other musicians joining him live and in the studio. They play songs with elements of folk and blues, wrapped in a haunting layer of spookiness. When Timber Timbre performs live, it’s often done with minimal lighting, creating an atmosphere where the focus is on the music and not the players. It’s as if the music is being created by performers hiding in the shadows. Likewise, the characters in the stories Kirk sings about seem to carry a certain darkness, reflecting on their flaws and desires.?The instrumentation compliments the lyrics, with gentle percussion and keyboards providing constant life through the veins of the songs while strings come in to add moments of chaos, paranoia and beauty.
The band will release?Hot Dreams?on April 1 through Arts and Crafts. The album features guest performances from Romy Lightman (Tasseomancy), Colin Stetson and words by Simone Schmidt (Fiver, One Hundred Dollars). Simon Trottier, who has worked with Timber Timbre over the past few albums, sees his role increase on this one: he’s credited as co-composer and co-producer on?Hot Dreams.?Mika Posen, who did the strings on their previous Polaris shortlisted album?Creep On Creepin’ On,?returns with string arrangements on the new album as well.
Expect to hear some of the new songs at the In the Dead of Winter show in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Marquee. Basia Bulat and Quiet Parade are also play that night.
Photo: Supplied (Jeff Bierk)