Typhoon’s Broody New Album at the Turf

Typhoon TurfClub 20180117 web 01 1
Typhoon TurfClub 20180117 web 01 1

Portland’s orchestral indie-folk collective, Typhoon, hit the Turf Club this week, showcasing their fourth album “Offerings,” a record ridden with ominous storytelling and a melodramatic sonic sound.   Typhoon is known for their very complicated arrangements and rich blend of vocals, violins, horns, xylophone, drums, tambourine, you name it. Eleven members strong, this band has a grand reputation for cultivating a dynamic, ever-changing sound. From delicate strings and vocals to discordant, boisterous drums and brass–all backed by a booming choir–Typhoon maintains a remarkable ability to create beautiful music in widely varying ways.However, at the Turf, the normally eleven-piece band was four bandmates short, which made for a more stripped down performance. No horns or trumpet, no ukulele, only one violin, and a one-time appearance of the tambourine. But, a more minimized lineup did not make for a less intricate sound.

Their latest full-length album, “Offerings,” is very different compared to their previous work. They traded in big, uplifting brass for more guitar-heavy, somber string arrangements. Lyrically, Kyle Morton unfolds a narrative about a man losing his memory and thus, his sense of self.

Grappling with solemn recollections, shaking out the “shards” in his memory, Morton unveils a dark theme. The opening song, “Wake,”–swelling with monophonic chants, delicate strings, and phantom-like murmurings–sets the tone for a bleak, solipsistic theme.

“In the still dark of the morning/ Just one more cradle down the creek/ Au revoir my little memories/ Then tell me: this is not your loss, this is your offering”

“Offerings” is compiled of four movements–”Floodplains,” “Flood,” “Reckoning,” and “Afterparty.” Each piece is representative of the main character’s mental state. Reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, the album shudders with doom and gloom and plays with the idea of memory as it warps and wanes.

The album is a testament to Typhoon’s progression as a band, lyrically and thematically.

But, the show was not monopolized by these broody tracks. Typhoon maintained a rich mix of variety from their other albums. They dipped into a lot of fan-favorites from “White Lighter,” songs more closely acquainted with their trademark, jaunty optimism and folksy charm.

The stark contrast between the two albums–alongside some deep cuts from “Hunger and Thirst” thrown in for nostalgia’s sake–made for a lot of flavor and variety.

Personally, I missed the trumpet players up there on stage. But, even without the brass, this seven-person crew came out golden.

Written by Kathleen Ambre

Photographer | Designer | Writer | Chronic Creator


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