With “Black Water,” Timber Timbre has written my spirit anthem for this time of year. “All I need is some sunshine,” vocalist Taylor Kirk repeats in an imploring drawl, his voice occasionally rising to the fever pitch of desperation. “All I ne-ee-eeed.” Behind him the bass plods and horns drone thick and viscous. The keyboards sound like whistling winds, and the hypnotic chorus of “black water black water black water” echoes the monotony of the long grey march through the Northwest spring.
It’s easier than ever, you see, to get lost in Timber Timbre’s music.
Creep On Creepin’ On is the fourth album from the masters of gothic folk, and with it they take their Grimm’s Fairy Tale aesthetic to a new, richer level. The space between Kirk’s voice and the beat is inhabited by drifting spectres of echo, muted drum crashes, distant shrieks, and ambient noise. Kirk’s voice itself reverberates gently, organs ring off invisible cathedral ceilings, and a pixyish chorus of background vocals even lends its mass to “Too Old To Die Young.”
Rather than bulking the songs up, though, the additions are gossamer enough to only accentuate the spacious quality of Timber Timbre’s sound, like echoing voices in an empty house. The band might be playing in the next room of an old Victorian, or the room after that, and you must chase the drifting tendrils of their music down halls and around corners to find them.
The lyrical content hasn’t changed, but if you like the band, you wouldn’t want it to. Timber Timbre’s dark tales of ghosts and voodoo are their signature appeal. On Creep On they’ve merely taken a turn further towards the trippy and enigmatic: “The siren called beyond the treelike / With another one for the caves / And in the dawn beyond those birches / There is a spirit that I crave.” An unexpected delight are three cinematic instrumentals: “Obelisk,” “Swamp Magic,” and “Souvenir.”
With Creep On Creepin’ On, Timber Timbre explore and elevate their singular vision, and keep on creepin’ on through the darkness, the close woods and dark caves, the moonlit nights and the foggy dawns, the empty houses of our minds towards summer.
Creep On Creepin’ On will be released April 5 on Arts & Crafts. You can stream the entire album in advance already.
Timber Timbre plays the Sunset Tavern June 7 and Mississippi Studios in Portland June 8.