Timber Timbre may appear to be the sole workings of singer-songwriter Taylor Kirk but lurking the in the shadowy notes of the Kirk’s music are two confidants and band mates. Violinist Mika Posen and multi-instrumentalist Simon Trottier first joined Kirk in 2009 and regardless of how the media might spin it Timber Timbre is definitely not a one-man show anymore.
“I never considered them anything but official members,” Kirk explains. “Some liberties were taken and assumptions were made around our marketing/media which often discussed Timber Timbre as a singer/songwriter project but it’s been years since I played shows alone, as a solo artist.”
Even though Posen and Trottier have been collaborating with Kirk onstage for years, Timber Timbre’s latest full-length Creep On Creepin’ On is the first on-record collaboration between the three. “This is the first time where all three of us worked together as producers on a recording. I still composed and structured all the music on my own before bringing it to them but I was thinking about them during the writing process and anticipating how they might contribute to the end result.”
Kirk adds that the additional hands on Creep On Creepin’ On gave him a boost of confidence. “For example, I felt courageous enough to compose these instrumental pieces, which I sort of wrote specifically for the, knowing their contributions would be what made those experiments successful.”
These instrumental pieces – ‘Swamp Magic’ and the ringing haunt of closing track ‘Souvenirs’ – is just another dimension to a record which Kirk describes as “bigger, louder and lusher.”
Still maintaining Timber Timbre’s signature supernatural, eerie vibes, Kirk, Posen and Trottier does succeed in infusing a heightened sense of spectral atmospherics and darkness around Kirk’s Vincent Price-like narration. While things are kicked up a notch, Kirk does assure listeners that the album is also “more exciting and upbeat”.
“It’s reflecting upon a different time, new music, new experiences, new tools and a new process,” Kirk says. “I understand that it will be quite easily identified as Timber Timbre but I really hope to be making very different records every time I do this; I’m not too excited to go into the studio to hone a particular sound and craft, I just want to try something different. Always.”
That something different this time around on Creep On Creepin’ On seems to be a tinge of 50s doo-wop, something Kirk had taken a particular liking to around the time of recording. “I sort of got interested in that sound, doo-wop, the girl-group era, early rock ‘n’ roll, soul…also, the writing period was intermittent and always sort of in between these big tours – just a really exciting couple of years for us with this project, and so that kind of translated into the overall mood of the album, a frenetic energy at times, exuberant even.”
Whether the listener notices these differences or not, it is evident to Kirk. “The last record feels different, as it came out of a very heavy, dark time.”
The album title reflects Kirk’s upbeat take on the record as well. Creep On Creepin’ On, which originated from an inside joke Kirk had with a friend, was chosen “to be funny and self-ironic about the heaviness of the music and the image of the project, to draw attention to the lighter side of what we’re doing.”