Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
What’s this? A bit of humour from the dark and spooky construction of Timber Timbre? Creep On Creepin’ On, the fourth album from Toronto singer/songwriter Taylor Kirk, may have a knowing wink right in the title, but you’d barely notice it listening to this latest set of meticulous, bluesy folk that, yes, creepily warbles along as some of the best-sounding material Timber Timbre has released yet.
It’s Timber Timbre’s second outing as a band, which also includes violinist Mika Posen and multi-instrumentalist Simon Trottier. The trio recorded and toured the last record—their breakout self-titled release—in 2009, and though the working model of the band remains the same (Kirk still writes everything and brings finished songs for the others to embellish), there’s a bit more room for the additional players to flesh out the sound. You hear it in the almost-whimsical title track, or the instrumentals “Obelisk” and “Souvenirs”—tracks that no doubt emerged on record as a result of interludes the band works into the live show.
The production—still distantly warm—really stands out this time around, especially on tracks like the excellent “Too Old to Die Young” (streaming above), with subtle percussion beats that sound like they’re coming from a cave, or the really eerie, almost movie-score perfect violin in the pre-chorus. It’s also these details that prove, once again, just how deliberate Kirk’s songwriting is—there’s never a note that lingers too long, never a beat out of place, never a bit of space that, empty or echoing, feels wrong. And yet the precision doesn’t make Kirk’s ghostly groan or vision any less engrossing—rather, the layers of intention and execution become more compelling. It sounds so dramatic because it is. Creep On Creepin’ On is that rare kind of album that sticks instantly and settles even more over time.