The woozy tunes of Timber Timbre
Toronto band ready for big Massey Hall show this month
There are a few major events that impacted the direction of Timber Timbre’s new album, Hot Dreams. The Banff Centre where songwriter and vocalist Taylor Kirk worked with producer Graham Lessard; the Canadian Music Centre’s collection of vintage keyed instruments and the hot and steamy surrounds of Laurel Canyon, Calif. What people are picking up on most is that hot and steamy part.
Hot Dreams, the follow-up to 2011’s Creep On Creepin’ On, has been described as everything from woozy to the sexiest album of the year. And, not surprisingly, Kirk gets what all the fuss is about. “I think that sounds about right,” says Kirk. “I mean, I dunno. I think the first time it really occurred to me was working on the title track “Hot Dreams,” and I thought, this is just a slow jam, you know? It’s the first time I’d intended a song to be highly charged and eroticized. But woozy? We’re always a bit woozy.”
The album is in turns dark, spooky and sexy but always interesting.
Fans of David Lynch will be pleased. According to Kirk, there are references and subtle nods to the filmmaker throughout the album.
The interest in the intersection of film and music isn’t by accident. Kirk studied film, and the band had designs on working in that industry, but it hasn’t quite panned out.
“I studied film and was interested in making film music, but it never really happened,” he explains. “But I have a nostalgia for a certain era of filmmaking.”
In addition, Kirk has long had an interest in exploring darker themes in his music, famously sequestering himself in a lonesome cabin near Bobcaygeon to work on what would become Timber Timbre’s debut recording.
“I mean, all along with each recording I’ve expressed and written about my curiosity about a certain part of America, although it has been a shifting focus,” he says. “‘Hot Dreams’ in particular has a gothic feel. It feels like western music.”
Something of a romantic, Kirk grappled with his growing success in the early years, indifferent about being front and centre. But he’s getting used to it.
“It’s been a pretty gentle incline,” he says. “It’s never been too shocking. But I feel more confident and comfortable with it now."
Timber Timbre plays at Massey Hall on May 23, with Cold Specks, as part of a new film series. For more information go to www.timbertimbre.com.
(L-R) Timber Timbre’s Simon Trottier and Taylor Kirk