Canadian folk group Timber Timbre feel a lot like Bon Iver’s creepy uncle – in the best way possible. While Justin Vernon and co may create music for the insides of a wooded cabin built on tales of lost loves, Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk, Simon Trottier, Mathieu Charbonneau and Olivier Fairfield create music for the insides of that cabin’s attic. The bluesy project saw great success with their 2011 album ‘Creep On Creepin’ On’ and now they’re back with yet another excellent album, ‘Hot Dreams’.
Sickly echoing notes introduce the record and these two adjectives feature prominently on the entirety of ‘Hot Dreams’. Taylor Kirk’s smoky voice bellowing “outran the avalanche” gives a sense of impending doom in the album that’s to follow. The tone created by the slow percussion on the aptly-titled Beat the Drums Slowly is staggering. They’re not hit particularly hard, but they do bring immense weight in the idea that something big is to happen, and it does.
Hot Dreams is exactly that – fervently dreamy. The title track opens with the lyrics “I wanna dance with a black woman.” Slow, twanging guitar plucks as these sorts of desperate inner desires are announced out loud and as naked as they can be. It perfectly paints the picture of a dark, neon-lit nightclub with suspended eyes staring at you from across the room on a person’s body you can’t quite make out. The seductive saxophone outro sounds like a successful victory lap for Kirk and the woman he was trying to swoon.
The instrumental Resurrection Drive Part II plays like the soundtrack to a spaghetti western about two vampires on the run. It’s the shortest and sweetest track on ‘Hot Dreams’ and marks the divide between both sides masterfully. The album’s haunting closer The Three Sisters features heavy piano and hellish bells all the while a cacophonous collage of strange and disconcerting noises loom and pan in the background.
The line “baby, you turned me on/then you turned on me” found on The Low Commotion captures Timber Timbre’s ‘Hot Dreams’ perfectly. Each track here oozes with a salivating sultriness of personality, but by the time you finish each track, they feel poisonous; almost like they seduced you, took your car keys and ran with them. And yet, you don’t really care because you’re weirdly honoured enough that you were even chosen to be wooed by them in the first place.