When it comes to independent Canadian labels, most bands would do just about anything to get on Arts & Crafts. So naturally, when Broken Social Scene’s record company told Taylor Kirk, who plays under the name Timber Timbre, that they wanted to release his record, he was thrilled.
“At one point they said they were interested in working with me in some capacity, but I had no idea what they were going for,” says Kirk, on the phone form his Toronto home. “I was pretty shocked when they expressed an interest in putting it out.”
For most people, this will be the first time they’ll have heard Kirk’s self-titled sophomore record, but it was actually released six months ago on the small Toronto label Out of This Spark. A friend of the singer-songwriter gave the record to the Constantines’ Bry Webb, who passed it onto A&C’s co-founder Jeffrey Remedios.
Kirk says the Arts & Crafts version, which came out last month, is exactly the same as the original. What is different though is the attention being heaped upon this still-green musician, and the fact that he’s now expected to make music his full-time career.
“It still makes me nervous,” says Kirk, about playing music full time. “Even though it’s what I’ve been working towards for a long time, it’s never been a goal. It seemed like such a remote possibility.
“The attention has been a bit jarring,” he adds. “When the press release went out, I didn’t expect it to be such big news.”
It’s likely Kirk will become an even bigger deal once people start listening to the record. The album is filled with dark, haunting Tom Waits-like sounds, and although the tracks lean on the quiet, minimalist side they’re still infectious and polished.
It’s a big improvement over Kirk’s last record Medicinals, which was a solid effort in its own right. But with that record’s rough edges, fuzzy production and more bluesy tones it wasn’t as accessible as his current disc. “I had been making records in rough spaces and I thought they had been pretty crude ... I wanted to make a proper recording that wasn’t going to alienate people by the merits of the production,” explains Kirk.
Timber Timbre plays
• Toronto: Church Of The Redeemer Friday night.
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