Typhoon, the Portland, Oregon-based 8-piece indie rock outfit, is here with “Darker,” their last single before the release of their fourth LP, Offerings.
Offerings is the culmination, and compilation, of three “movements” of the album released periodically over the past several months. The first movement, Floodplains, was released last October and spawned the project’s first single, “Rorschach”.
“Rorschach” is dominated by choppy acoustic guitar and frontman Kyle Morton’s throaty vocals which, at times, are reminiscent of Paul Simon. They’re punctuated by hyper-distorted backing vocals, drenched in static like they’re coming in over an extremely poor radio connection. Compared to the full, natural-sounding guitar and vocals, these radio-static backers are beautifully incongruous.
The song ends in a riot of layered chiming electric guitars, huge growling bass, strong drumming (absent during the choruses), and for the last 20 seconds or so a fiddle with hints of an Irish folk sound.
Typhoon Crafts Stunning Indie Concept Album
Offerings, which Typhoon is putting out with Roll Call Records on January 12, is a concept album. It follows the story of a man who is gradually losing his memory and, close behind that, his very sense of himself — a dark concept, indeed.
“I’ve always been preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory,” Morton said. Concerning “Darker,” Morton said it “[details] the final stages of our character’s memory crisis, in which he loses those distinctions separating self from other.”
The song does an excellent job of doing just that. As a whole its more complex than “Rorschach” from earlier in the album — whereas “Rorschach” is punctuated with periods of louder, more layered sounds, “Darker” is defined by them.
It’s a darker tune, as well. A slow burner, it’s got a distinctly eerie vibe. It actually puts me in mind of the darker work of fellow Portlanders Modest Mouse, with the guitars played in a similar plucked style and with a similar clear, slightly reverbed tone. The rhythm of the bass has a distinctly Modest Mouse feel to it, as well. Don’t get the wrong idea — these are stylistic echoes, not copies, and Typhoon’s work is distinctly their own.
Typhoon has put together a complex, layered, and deeply engrossing album in Offerings. They’re celebrating its release with a tour, kicking off on January 10 in Salt Lake City.