“I wanna dance with a black woman.” These are the first words Taylor Kirk, creator and frontman of Canada’s Timber Timbre, sings in his new album Hot Dreams’ title track. His hollow, haunted voice sings words that he admits to Vice’s Noisey are dangerous but not “destructive or damaging.” Hot Dreams is the band’s fifth album – the third with Arts & Crafts Records – and is their most expressive and revealing work yet. Kirk brings on Simon Trottier as co-producer and co-composer of Hot Dreams.
The five-man group is and always has been a folk music project that grows and changes beautifully with every record. Each album resonates a creepier, phantom sound than the last. Kirk formed the project in 2006, and is responsible for the acclaimed Creep on Creepin’ On, which was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and nominated for two JUNO awards.
In an interview with Noisey, Kirk explains that the song ‘Hot Dreams’ is about “fantasy and reconciling love and sex, love and fantasy, [and] sex and fantasy.” This is not hidden in the song’s video, which begins with a stripper pushing a disabled man in a wheelchair through a strip club.
The album’s first song, ‘Beat the Drum Slowly’, keeps you rooted in Kirk’s echoed, vacant voice. The song’s video – animated by fellow Canadian musician Chad VanGaalen – premiered on TIME’s website in April. Hot Dreams ends with ‘Three Sisters’, a slow, emotional instrumental that evokes both desire and anguish.
In that same interview, Kirk admits that he is finally beginning to sound more like himself, musically, than he has in the past, mainly due to his making music that he loves instead of trying to mimic the music he thought he wanted to create. “I think with each song I write and each recording there’s less pretence to what I’m doing and there’s less of an affectation,” he told Noisey. He has gradually lost the “white blues” tone he carried with him in his music, a sound he grew up surrounded by because of his father.
Timber Timbre is currently on tour, and is coming to one of Canada’s historic music venues, Massey Hall, with special guest Cold Specks on May 23, 2014. Massey Hall is releasing a series, titled Live at Massey Hall, consisting of 30-minute episodes featuring artist performances at the Hall and behind-the-scenes access. The series is put together to honour the venue’s past by embracing and celebrating the future of Canadian music. Timber Timbre and Cold Specks are one of two events at the venue that are being recorded and put online. The second night of the series introduces Canadian artists Coeur de Pirate and Bry Webb on May 31, 2014. Tickets for this event are priced at $18.94 (un-ironically, the year the venue was founded), an unbelievable price for Massey Hall, where tickets usually start at around $65.
For more information on Timber Timbre and their upcoming tour dates, go here.
For more information on Massey Hall’s new series Live at Massey Hall, go here.