Lovage: Vinyl LPHD-01-V
Pre-Order Item. Release Date Subject to Change.
Label: Hot Dreams Publishing Inc (Timber Timbre)
Release Date: 13th October
On one side Taylor Kirk's dulcet tones are like a warm hot toddy for the soul with a nice comfy spooning but the lyrics are like something out of a folk horror story. The music is lush as usual and the lyrics as twisted and dark as ever.
Six years after their last studio album, Taylor Kirk’s Canadian band Timber Timbre has finally announced a new record "Lovage" - their most accomplished and engrossing album to date, set for release October 6th via [Integral]. The lead single, "Ask The Community”, is out today alongside a music video.
Since releasing and extensively touring “Sincerely, Future Pollution” (2017), Taylor Kirk has been busy working as a producer on several full-length LP’s, including Joseph Martone’s “Honeybirds” and the sophomore recording “Nightshades” by This Lonesome Paradise. Timber Timbre have quietly released two cassette-only EP’s, “I Am Coming To Paris” and “The Dissociation Tapes Volume 1”. Finally returning with a new full-length entitled “Lovage,” the most accomplished and engrossing Timber Timbre album to date. Which isn't to say that Taylor Kirk has merely refined his working methods. In fact, “Lovage” is a bona fide masterpiece, as Kirk manages to combine disparate influences that would otherwise seem mutually incompatible. Together with producer-engineer Michael Dubue, he reconciles Brian Wilson's rich sonic palette with the amused melancholy of Leonard Cohen. When asked about these influences Taylor admits these are certainly touchstones. ”Brian Wilson and Leonard Cohen are among many influences that have come to embody what music is to me.”
Kirk admits to revisiting Sun Ra, Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane, as well as Italian singers such as Pino Daniele and Paolo Conte, which might explain the cinematic lightness of the new album. When asked about The Velvet Underground he replied reluctantly “I wouldn't say that I sound like Lou Reed,” Kirk explains. “But I also aspire to the leanness that he brings to his lyrics and storytelling.”
Another connection to Lou Reed is the wry humor that is always present in Timber Timbre's work, despite the social commentary prevalent in the new songs, such as the album opener “Ask The Community”. “I'm glad if the humor comes across,” Kirk says. "It's not always recognized, but having said that, I'm not always sure when I'm joking myself."
The electronic elements that characterized Timber Timbre's previous album, “Sincerely, Future Pollution" make a return on “Lovage,” albeit with a more discrete confidence. “That album became something of a genre study, sitting slightly outside Timber Timbre’s sonic trajectory,” he explains, “as I didn't really have a history with electronic music then. It was very laborious and much more contrived. What’s different about this album is that it's much more spontaneous than ‘Sincerely, Future Pollution’ or any of my previous recordings, for that matter.”
Kirk developed “Lovage” in close collaboration with Michael Dubue at the producer's Studio Cimetière in Quyon, Quebec. “Michael originally invited me to come and contribute to a song he was working on,” Kirk explains, “Because we really hit it off, we ended up putting a whole album together from the song ideas I'd been collecting during a couple of housebound years, recovering from a long period of unsavory touring habits and reform from an unhealthy lifestyle.”
The collaboration proved so fruitful that Michael Dubue has joined Timber Timbre on keyboards and vocals with Adam Bradley Schreiber completing the current line-up on drums and percussion. “Michael is much more musically accomplished than I am,” Taylor continues. “While I've often felt limited by my own ability in the past, Mike helped out when I found myself hitting a wall or writing myself into a corner. He often comes up with ideas I'd never have thought of on my own or couldn’t execute instrumentally.”
Kirk returned to his native Ontario in 2019 after spending a few years in Quebec and Texas. He made it back just in time to sit out the Covid pandemic and regroup. “I moved back to Ontario where I had grown up, a place I left 20 years ago and swore I’d never return to. ‘Holy Motors’ is an homage to this place I love and hate - but also love to hate," he says of the town where he spent the lockdown. "But it's a good place to be trapped".
One could say the same of the sonic landscapes he evokes on "Lovage": “It's a wonderful album to be trapped on, a modern masterpiece for troubled times one will find oneself returning to again and again.”