By Jon Fuchs, Music Director
[City Slang; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Velvet Gloves & Spit,” “Moment,” “Bleu Nuit”
Sincerely, Future Pollution, the newest record from Timber Timbre, might be the ideal soundtrack for a dystopian future. The psychedelic folk group’s sixth album sees the band go almost completely electronic, a style seen before by the group, but this time is taken to a level not seen before. Gone is the band’s beloved ’70s twang and old-timey feel; instead the listener is introduced to catchy dance rhythms and thick synth textures that bring a sense of intensity and groove that’s honestly hard to describe.
Sincerely, Future Pollution begins with the slow jam “Velvet Gloves & Spit,” which is easily a contender for track of the year. It’s moog-style synths, mixed with the subtle percussion and singer Taylor Kirk’s soothing vocals blend perfectly together, with the hook’s dreamy synth lead acting as the cherry on top. A love song for the ages, “Velvet Gloves & Spit” perfectly sets your expectations and preparedness for the remaining eight tracks.
“Grifting” follows, a synth-funk track that almost sounds like the end result of combining Suuns with Parliament Funkadelic. It isn’t a very mind-blowing track, but there’s no denying you’ll bopping your head up and down during the whole song. With high-pitched synths and an equally funky bassline, “Skin Tone” perfectly fades in and adds a certain eeriness to the record. The instrumental track acts as an interlude to transition the album into “Moment,” another highlight of the record that continues the album’s dreaminess with multiple interesting synth textures and the introduction of a soft vocoder effect as background vocals. The shredding guitar solo in the middle of the tracks is also a bonus, making the overall atmosphere of the album much more robotic.
“Bleu Nuit,” the second to last track on the record, feels like something John Carpenter would make for a movie score. From its introduction with a shuffling synth run to the ominous saxophone lead matching with a vocoder, it acts as a pre-outro for the record and gives off the feeling of an 80s sci-fi action movie. The final track, “Floating Cathedral,” is a slow jam that sounds the most like a traditional Timber Timbre song, thanks to its slow, almost western-like guitars over shimmering synth chords. It might be one of the most underwhelming tracks on the record, but it’s also one of the sweetest and makes a great end for the record.
Whether or not Sincerely, Future Pollution is an improvement or disappointment to Timber Timbre’s discography is entirely up to the listener’s point of view. While some will appreciate the band’s ambitious change-up in style, others may be turned off from its very futuristic aesthetic. However, it’s clear that Sincerely, Future Pollution has a certain charm that’s hard to find in a lot of albums of the same quality, which is probably why it’s so memorable.