Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's puzzling to me that Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter haven't taken Taylor Kirk, Simon Trottier and Mika Posen along with them on their many darkened journeys through film. The members of the Brooklin, Ontario, Canada group Timber Timbre would have been game for many of the somber treatments that the longtime collaborators have feted over their many years and projects. They might have agreed on the heaviness and on the appropriate amount of lightheartedness as well. The problem would have been that there weren't enough mysterious bumps in the night, the kinds of things that could continue to breed queasiness and uncertainty for a good long time, without ever knowing the cause of the bumps. There need to be more creeping vines to grab at your ankles, more spider webs to walk into, spit out and yank the stickiness from the hair, not to mention the kinds of open-ended evenings that somehow sink into a big hollowness. They feel twice as big and constricting, as if you're sharing the same room with all of your heart's greatest fears and worries. They're there - you just can't see them. Sensing them just breathing thick and hungrily is bad enough though. They want to get at you and you're like a helpless lamb.
Kirk, as a writer is so conscious of the muddy rivers that he has rolling through his body and his narrative that you get swallowed whole by Timber Timbre songs. You feel as if you're out in the middle of a dense forest, where the only things you can smell are wood burning, mating season and whatever the trees are smelling like that day - usually just dirty or wet wood. He meanders through these trees and over this grass and these weeds, and he seems to create a glorious dance floor, out there with all of the tramped down, old deer beds from the night before, for one last dance.
He brings an old soul vibe to all of these weary tales of love being sought and sought, to a point where - all of a sudden - he senses that he's turned into a zombie and he thinks that maybe everyone else has too. He sings about looking into a hole in his head and a hole in another head - as if they'd been bored by someone tapping for maple sap - and then offers on "Lonesome Hunter," "I'm afraid you'll never understand, baby/And I'm sorry you had such a bad time/Well, I have done some truly awful things/And you must be very terrified/You have every reason to be frightened since you've been reading my mind/Oh, who am I to deny this moment?/Who am I to even question it?/There was a cross on the mountain, baby/There is a cross glowing over your head/Well please, break this spell you have me under/Every heart is a lonesome hunter." Most of the hunting is done in the dark, more of a fumbling than anything, with shots ringing out and missing everything, just skimming through the leaves and skinning the bark from the trees. The hunt stays hot and moonlit.
Timber Timbre Official Site
Arts & Crafts Records