alex: hm. I start a rap beef with the pope - it ends when he's succeeded. Note: that bitch who tackled him? Let's just say we've had knowledge. And by we, I mean I, and by knowledge, I mean her pussy.
I wrote this article a while back and I kinda like the original version, so I decided to throw it up. The edited version is located at the bottom of the post if you wish to peruse it, and I do suggest that you do.
Timber Timbre mainbrain Taylor Kirk is not a man used to being in the spotlight. Case in point: whenever I finish a question and offer him a chance to respond, the answer is usually prefaced by pauses and a number of single-voweled noises that sound like his brain is gearing up to properly formulate answers, unsure about his word choice. He'll often ask me if the answer he served up fits the question I asked (it always does), and he'll digress a few times during the course of the conversation. An unwitting musical entity would be an apt description of Kirk's phone mannerisms.
Though he is cordial and genuinely nice during our chat, Kirk has, according to many, accumulated a cult of mystery around him, a propensity to leave things unsaid in a certain manner that invites discussion among others. His music is a reflection of this personality trait: dark and recorded largely off-the-cuff, the reverb-rich, atmospheric brand of organ-friendly folk rock that he parades around while on tour is best suited for those coming down from a long night of drinking, preferably while sitting in the dark. He states that his music aims for an “interesting” edge, trying to balance the sonic aspect of the music as much as the song structure and melodies themselves. “I come from a recordist [sic] background, and so the properties of the recording themselves are just as important to me as the songs.”
This cult of mystery also extends itself into the digital world: though Kirk has a presence on the web, he largely stays off of it, preferring to remain as off-the-grid as possible. “I like to remain as detached as possible a lot, I guess, but I use the web to promote myself” Kirk explains, haltingly.
“At a lot of my shows, I'll see kids pull out cellphones and take pictures or whatever, you know, to put up on their websites.” Kirk sounds genuinely confounded by this notion, the concept that this narcissistically-centered generation needs to feed on itself in order to survive.
His third (and newest) album, officially untitled (though dubbed Timber Timbre by others) is his first true studio project. Where his first album was recorded “up in a log cabin on a 4 track”, and his second was “recording all alone with a 4-track, wandering through [his] Toronto apartment with headphones dangling, going back and forth in-between takes”, he now had actually entered a proper recording space to start sessions, with an actual engineer “sitting there, watching [him] as he recorded take after take.”
The decision to record in an actual studio with people was a practical one: Kirk's move to Toronto and subsequent befriending of people in the TO music scene allowed him to make proper connections. Kirk acknowledges the fact that having many hands involved in the process has been beneficial, stating that “it was actually a joy to have people around.” Kirk also singles out producer Chris Stringer for being able to “differentiate between a good take and a bad take, to be another voice” in the process.
“These songs weren't originally designed to be played live,” Kirk said. “The nature of their recordings was much more interesting to me. I'm still uneasy about playing live, and thankfully I don't count on being on the road continually.” He also states that this new record was untitled due to the fact that he didn't feel like the songs included weren't a cohesive set, a notion that he's since reversed course on since playing a large bulk of the tracks live.
“Playing these songs live is a real challenge,” Kirk asserts, with the prerequisite pause, noting that transcribing the experience into a live setting is a tad more difficult than traditional songwriters.
Taylor Kirk continues to remain a mystery, perhaps even to himself.