There is always a danger when you front-load an album with the recent singles that it might run out of steam once you have gone beyond their obvious charms. That said, the opening, triple salvo which greets you on Tim Kile’s solo debut album is a bit special. The wide-screen and ambitious sonic span of Wasteland, the infectious beat, bounce and buoyancy of My Medicine and the unique, spacious and wonderfully odd tones and textures of Buddy Holly/Seazons, are all stand out tracks, as you would expect from their single status, but beyond them is really where the test lies.
But it is a test that Tim Kile passes with flying colours, as you would expect from a man who co-founded Arcade Fire two decades ago, went on to lead Wild Light and has more than proved his abilities through this sonic tryptic of songs.
Family Tree is an upbeat yet intimate blending indie-folk moods with slightly dancey grooves, Jeremiad is a glorious blast of ragged and anthemic, alt-rock and Nightbird is a slice of cinematic indie goodness which I’m sure will join those first three tracks out in the single world at some point. I mean, it would be a shame if it doesn’t.
It’s a balanced album and a great one too. There are moments of upbeat energy and those of quiet introspection, sometimes the songs look you in the eye and speak to you directly, other times they feel like you have taken a furtive peek in someone else’s diary. But always the songs come cocooned in marvellous sonic packages, from the big and bombastic to the sensitive and subtle.
Tim Kile already has plenty on his resume which he can rightly consider highlights of his career. With These Things Are Being Gathered for the Fire he has one more.