Entry Requirements: Under 18's accompanied by an adult
Timber Timbre’s music has always traced a shadowed path, using cues of the past to fuse the sound of a distant, haunted now. On its fourth record – Sincerely, Future Pollution – Timber Timbre coats the stark, sensual sound of 2014’s Hot Dreams in an oil-black rainbow of municipal grime. It is the cinema of a dizzying dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time.
Perhaps for the first time, Timber Timbre indulged its alleged “decade drift” – from the self-titled record’s 50s doo-wop, to Creep On Creepin On’s oblique 60s folk, and Hot Dreams’ 70s caprice – allowing the tools to personify the songs. A blend of the album’s mid-apocalyptic setting and its idyllic recording, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a romance of neoteric machines and dark, futuristic hues: with promise as beautiful as it is unsettling.
“None of us are massive fans of electronic and pop music, but certainly there are touchstones that most of us agree upon,” Kirk says of the album’s influences. “I had a desire to stretch forward somehow in terms of genre and move beyond things that sound classic, to move beyond the idea of satisfying my own idea of ‘good taste’. If the other records had such an emphasis on melding soft warm tones, I wanted Sincerely, Future Pollution to be steely and cool. Colder and starker sonically.”
The result is a newfangled sound with the plastic, cinematic tint of 80s avarice. “Grifting” struts, literally grifts, a deep, synthetic funk, with brash determination never before heard in Timber Timbre’s earthy catalogue. Kirk’s lyrics, in his unmistakably chilling croon, show a palate for the acridity of crime – Pulling off a fast one / Riffing off the last one / Reeling in the big one / Fished-in fished-in / Grifting Grifting Grifting – before pivoting into the gilded chorus of a haloed, Hollywood bedroom scene.
“Moment” glints with dazzling synthesizers – hiding heartbreak with the mastery of Nick Cave’s most elegant dirges – before devolving into a fray of shredded guitar. The title track growls with low-end urgency then combusts in a cloud of chiming sequencers. “Western Questions” lurks like the exotic, deserted remnants of Hot Dreams’ “Grand Canyon,” while “Bleu Night” is electrified with vocoder verses and the poltergeist of seven billion handheld devices.
If each Timber Timbre record is framed in genre play, on Sincerely, Future Pollution, the components are the most askew: the glam of Roxy Music; the plaintive pop of Talk Talk; the disquiet of Suicide; the invincibility of Talking Heads; the haunting This Mortal Coil. All (and more) unlikely references are present, tethering Timber Timbre’s experimentation to points of familiarity. The range is an acute angle from New Age to Popular French Disco Revival like Daft Punk and Air, filtered through Timber Timbre’s painterly imagination.
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