(Tender Loving Empire)
Despite its relative brevity, Typhoon’s A New Kind of House EP demonstrates as much imagination and
ingenuity in five songs as most artists express over the course of an entire
LP… or in some cases, throughout an entire career. The Portland Oregon-based 12
piece mines similar terrain to that surveyed by Okkervil River,
Iron & Wine, Arcade Fire and Low Anthem, an adventurous approach that basks
in high drama, dense textures and moody rumination. Singer Kyle Morton does his
best to hold his own despite the robust arrangements, his fragile wail bringing
to mind Neil Young at his most mournful.
Still, it’s a challenge to pigeonhole the band’s sound; the
barely perceptible opening bars of “The Honest Truth” and the plaintive piano
ballad “Firewood” lean toward sepia-tinged folk, while the orchestrated strains
of “Summer Home” and “Claws Pt. 2” aim for art and ambition while soaring ever
skywards. The year is young, but come December, this may still be the effort
that the pundits cite as among the year’s most memorable.
DOWNLOAD: “Summer Home,” “Claws Pt. 2” LEE ZIMMERMAN