Since their eponymous 2009 debut, Timber Timbre has consistently put out music that weaves a dark tableau of ominous forest gatherings, somber and meditative with an edge of menace. Taylor Kirk, the distinctive baritone behind the group’s aesthetic, is once again joined by Mathieu Charbonneau, Simon Trottier, and Mark Wheaton for their newest record. Sincerely, Future Pollution embraces a markedly different environment than their previous work, deploying glimmering synthesizer to situate the band’s hallmark sinister, crepuscular moods in a landscape of metropolitan decay. Though Kirk may have shifted his work’s thematic touchstones a bit, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a strong entry into the Timber Timbre oeuvre.
Rich, full-bodied synth lines daub swaths of urban textures across Future Pollution’s nine songs. Album opener “Velvet Gloves & Spit,” a standout track, uses Charbonneau’s keys to paint a melancholic and mellow scene, whereas tracks like “Grifting” lean heavily on clavichord to serve up gritty vintage funk. The album art is a black-and-white photograph of a city lit up against the light, which serves as a symbol of Timber Timbre’s expansion into new artistic regions along with the filth and blight referenced in the title. The album is drenched in urban seediness with surroundings like a “House of gilded swindlers,” a “tomb of vapor and perfume and fog-filled rooms,” and “Wasted poker faces / Smoke in mirrored places.”
Opening act the Wooden Sky are clearly admirers of folk artists from the ’60s to the modern day. Also four albums into their career, the band is fronted by Gavin Gardiner, who has a voice as yearning and mournful as a hound — perfect for the intersection of folk and country at which the Wooden Sky comfortably sits. Their music is satisfying and affecting, if a bit unwilling to break genre conventions. At times they recall Band of Horses or Phosphorescent, but whatever other artists they might evoke, they’re worth seeing live. This show promises to be an excellent pairing of top-notch bands. Get to the Great American Music Hall tonight for a night of forlorn acoustic guitars, swelling keys, and the impassioned vocals of two talented crooners.
Timber Timbre, The Wooden Sky
Great American Music Hall
May 9, 2017