Florescence – Timberline (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Timberline might make music that is essentially a voice and a guitar, but it is what he (they?) does (do?) within that framework that makes Florescence stand out from the usual gap-year troubadours with their wide-brimmed hats, black stretch jeans and working knowledge of A minor. There is something in the delivery and production of the album, something that gives the songs a hazy, cosmic vibe, a delicacy and understatement, something that allows the light to get in and the songs to breath.

Horsetooth’s meandering ways and minimalist beat immediately put me in mind of the likes of Bon Iver, breathy yet boundless, underplayed yet gently anthemic…if such a thing is even possible… and Second Guess is a wide-screen take on the same sound, cascading guitars and sensuous vocals playing a game of on/off, loud/quiet, light/shade.

Long Sleeves is perhaps my favourite, one of the simpler songs to be found here, its edited and spacious nature often feel as if the artist is merely creating a sonic shell around a bubble containing the sound of the universe and this is followed by February 13th which takes a hypnotic and circular piano riff as its main driving force…although again, force is too harsh a word for what is going on here.

It’s a surprising album, one that covers so much ground with so little music, which is an awesome and amazing thing to be able to do, especially in world filled with over the top creativity, style over substance and a more is more ethic.

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