The Canadian trio of Mika Posen, Simon Trottier and Taylor Kirk, Timber Timbre have released their fifth studio album entitled Hot Dreams. A mix of styles is present here with the mood redolent of another era and certainly not 2014. On the vocals of Taylor Kirk, reverb is used to good effect, which brings the classic vocal style of the early period of Elvis Presley to mind.
The title track is a slow-moving song with Taylor Kirk serenading a dream-like figure which starts off with Kirk crooning, “I wanna’ dance with a black woman.” Longing and desire combine beautifully here to present and image of a man who is simple looking to get lost in love, like in a dream. The opener Beat The Drum Slowly is more intense and heavier in mood. There is the sense that something big is going to happen like in some strangely, twisted movie scene.
Curtains! is an interesting song title for one and more upbeat and funky with Kirk’s interesting lyrics, again menacing in some sense, “curtains can’t conceal what it is they were to hide.” The mood shifts again in Bring Me Simple Men where Kirk’s seemingly omniscience and all-knowing position here calls out for, “simple men free from pride.” What it is he is looking for exactly is a bit puzzling and that is up to the listener to imagine.
Trying to choose my favourite track, I am torn between This Low Commotion and Run For Your Life. The latter reminds me of a Beatles track from Rubber Soul where Lennon warns his female ‘prey’ to run for her life, “You’d better run for your life if you can little girl.” Kirk has a similar threat in Run For Your Life and sings, “You’d better run for your life.” An obsessive love for his “good wife” can have sinister consequences as he repeats the word “run” to let her know about this. This Low Commotion is again a steady-paced song which begins with a melodic string and guitar section before drums and bass enter and Kirk asks “What does it mean to be unhealthy, badly my love?” Kirk sings as a man struggling once again in a relationship that is “going down.” “You turned me on then you turned on me” a clever line to portray this struggle.
The final track on the album, the instrumental The Three Sisters, is once again a rather mysterious, brooding piece of music that would not be out of place on the soundtrack of a movie full of suspense. It’s a suitable ending to an album that shifts in mood slightly without ever really releasing that heavy weight that comes down hard on human shoulders.