Typhoon: “But if there’s nothing, then what’s that song that keeps hounding me? .. this is not your loss, this is your offering” – The Independent (Feb 13, 2018)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Having waited over SEVEN YEARS to see Typhoon live, this night at The Independent seemed all a bit surreal. What pacified me in the interim was catching the mindblowingly-talented mult-instrumentalist and visionary behind this 9-person indie/folk rock, Kyle Morton, live in concert at The Swedish American Hall back in Jan 2016. Although this was only second night on tour in support of first solo album, ‘What Will Destroy You,’ Kyle received a standing ovation from his SF crowd. New tracks like ‘Sickness Until Death,’ ‘Water Torture,’ and ‘Survivalist Fantasy,’ found new homes in our hearts, despite old gems like ‘Claws, Part II,’ ‘Common Sentiments,’ ‘Honest Truth,’ and ‘Morton’s Folk,’ having been rooted there for years. (see below for videos) It was Kyle’s emotional rendition of ‘My Little Darling Knows My Nature‘ that hammered on my heart-strings the most, especially after raising his hand to show his wedding ring, saying he “did all right” (for his little darling is now his wife): 

“Now my little darlin I’ll sing you a love song
One you can hang your hat on every night
I will be your witness if you be mine
I will be your witness if you be mine
I will be your witness if you be my wife.”

The allure of Typhoon lies in their pensive, visual narratives and its capricious, temperamental nature (just as the tropical storm would suggest). The songs that truly TAKE US BY STORM (Artificial Light, Young Fathers, CRP/ Claws Part 2, The Lake, Summer House, Hunger and Thirst, Common Sentiments) are those that sweep us off our feet with ease and move us on a suspense-ridden journey laced with sharp twists and turns. In fact, I thought ‘CRP/ Claws Part 2‘ was 2 songs when I first heard it, for there was a distinct, abrupt change in the rhythm and instrumental arrangement halfway through. The same goes for ‘Common sentiments.’ I adore the juxtaposition of Kyle’s harder guitar and deeper voice with Shannon’s softer strings (violin) and higher-pitched vocals.

We all had been waiting nearly 5 years for Typhoon to return with a new album, for their last one (‘White Lighter‘) was released back in 2013. This newest album, ‘Offerings‘ (the fourth in their collection) stood out to me as the most ominous and most mysterious, for many of the lyrics (and associated voice recordings) have you furrowing your eyebrow (especially mine!) and questioning the intent. ‘Offerings‘ opens with a thought-provoking prologue (“Listen — of all the things that you are about to lose, this will be the most painful“) before launching into a song (‘Wake‘) about about a man “preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory.” Kyle mentioned wanting to explore “the dual theme of (1) what it means to be a person stripped of all memory and (2) what happens to a world that loses all sense of history (read: modern America).” YAAAAS. ‘Wake‘ was certainly the perfect wake-up call for the album, and the startling, unexpected uproar of violins and guitar shredding together (2:30 min) immediately following this plea was absolutely PERFECT: “But if there’s nothing, if there’s nothing Then what’s that song that keeps hounding me? …. this is not your loss, this is your offering”. I love how it’s then followed by Kyle shouting “Asa nisi masa” as if an SOS cry for help.

Wake‘, ‘Rorchscah‘ and ‘Empiracist,’ are my three favorite songs on the album, and just happen to be back-to-back. Other favorites include ‘Remembering‘ and ‘Unusual‘.

Rorchscah‘ highlights Kyle’s concern of people losing all sense of history, describing the navigation of our world solely via tv, computers, and Iphones (“Eyes on the screen, We have all the information now, but what does it mean?”), which, despite “all our (technological) progress,” leaves us wondering “what happened to the life we lost, that got lost in the living?” (I love the call-and-response between Kyle and Shannon’s vocals). “All this fiction make me nervous,” Kyle mutters, as if to call out those who have so easily forgotten our history, the “sacrificial violence” (bloodshed, bombs), and who “edit” the “film in their brain.” TRUTH BE TOLD.

Empiricist‘ also has some intriguing lyrics, my favorite being “But you can’t help wonder, who is this person you celebrate?… It’s still your birthday, so blow out your past lives like they’re candles on the cake.” Wow. That certainly stings. Kyle dishes out even more cynicism in ‘Unusual:’  “This brave new world— It’s gonna take some getting used to… Yeah, it’s cruel and unusual, Can’t tell the punishment apart from the crime.” Nevertheless, my favorite lyrics from this album are in the song, ‘Remember,’ for it emphasizes urgency (“Just make your move before you have no move to make”) and constant curiosity (“How long can it take?”)  HECK YES.

I think it’s safe to say that these TyphoonOfferings‘ (in the form of their fourth album), offered more reflection, self introspection, and confusion than any before, all in all reminding me of a quote from Salvador Dali (who I thank my fellow music buddy Alex for mentioning): “What is important is to spread confusion, not to eliminate it.” AMEN. Can’t WAIT to see Typhoon again at Sasquatch Music festival at the end of May. 🙂

 

Kyle Morton (solo tour) at Swedish American Hall

 

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I Want It All (Playlist: Feb 12, 2017)

I Want It All
Compiled Feb 12, 2017

The title of my first playlist of the new year is ‘I Want It All,’ (very fitting, I know) an AWESOME NEW TRACK that Mike Deni of Geographer first rolled out to us at The Rickshaw Stop a few weeks ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQzUd9qJ2Zo. This playlist was inspired by past shows: Geographer, Bear’s DenLord Huron, Kyle Morton of Typhoon (who I had waited 6 years to see live),Mogwai, Anthony D’Amato, Valley Maker and upcoming shows: Tash Sultana (BEEN WAITING 6 MONTHS FOR THIS!), The Staves (have wanted to see these SISTER SIRENS in concert for YEARS!), and Bastille. It also includes awesome new tracks by Laura Marling (arguably one of the most impressive and vocally challenging gem in her collection — SLAYED when she shared it with California for the first time at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HufiX1j3X8), Geographer, Bear’s Den, Lord Huron, Amber Run, Asgeir (SO GLAD HE IS BACK – one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC ARTISTS!), Tow’rs (excited for their third album!), Mogwai (the artistic arsenal of their new album, Atomic, detonates an explosion in our brains – a radioactive realization about the heinous impact of chemical warfare), Milky Chance, and Radical Face. Last by not least, it features new discoveries that I am glad to have pocketed: Cloves, Doncat (guitarist of Geographer), Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness , LANY, Lewis Del Mar, Guthrie Brown, Ron Gallo, Branches, Lisa Hannigan, The Midwest Indies, and Andy Chew. Pleased to post this before a whole NEW SLEW of BANDS at NoisePop music fest in SF next week! CAN’T WAIT!  😀

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

I Want It All- Geographer
Berlin- Bear’s Den
Wild Fire- Laura Marling
Fool For Love- Lord Huron
Don’t Wanna Fight- Amber Run
Fire Escape- Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
Pink Skies- LANY
Western- DonCat
My Little Darlin Knows My Nature- Kyle Morton
Lonesome Dreams- Lord Huron
Frail Love- Cloves
Painting (Masterpiece)- Lewis Del Mar
Love Like Ghosts- Lord Huron
Auld Lang Syne- Tow’rs
Cocoon- Milky Chance
If You’re Gonna Build A Wall – Anthony D’Amato
Meet Me In The Woods- Lord Huron
Don’t Forget About Me- Cloves
Lottery Ticket- Andrew Mcmahon In The Wilderness
Moonn- Radical Face
The Night We Met- Lord Huron
Day To Day- Guthrie Brown
Driving Through A Dream- Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
Ether- Mogwai
Good Grief- Bastille
Kill the Medicine Man-  Ron Gallo
Maps For The Getaway- Andrew Mcmahon In The Wilderness
Outlaw- The Staves
Dark Fores- Andy Chew
Oh My Goodness – Anthony D’Amato
Stay Gold- Guthrie Brown
Survivalist Fantasy- Kyle Morton
Send Them Off!- Bastille
By My Side- Valley Maker
Canyon Moon  – Andrew Mcmahon In The Wilderness
Authority (Live)- Tash Sultana
Sleeping In A Car- The Staves
Unbound- Asgeir
The “S” That Stood for Nothing- The Midwest Indies
Tomorrow- Branches
La Belle Fleur Sauvage- Lord Huron
Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me- Ron Gallo
Snow- Lisa Hannigan