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Montreal trio Timber Timbre explore the plastic sensibility of 80s electronic pop

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For their queasy new album Sincerely, Future Pollution (City Slang), Montreal trio Timber Timbre traveled to France, setting up in a small studio outside of Paris equipped with a wide array of vintage synthesizers. Over the course of their career they’ve embraced an evolving stream of unlikely styles, warping off-kilter bits of doo-wop, cocktail jazz, and soul complemented by a lounge-lizard croon, all uses of nostalgia to couch the decidedly creepy and unsettling narratives of singer Taylor Kirk. The new album pushes into the 80s, melding unctuous synth-pop with the singular art-pop David Bowie created during the tail end of his Berlin days. Whether it’s the love song “Velvet Gloves & Spit” or the break-up ballad “Moment” (which contains some wonderfully incongruous electric guitar atmospherics a la Remain in Light-era Talking Heads), nothing is ever on the level—there’s always a dark underbelly to the spoken sentiment. Timber Timbre sound stronger than ever on the sleek funk grooves of “Grifting,” their most obvious Bowie cop, Kirk using terse wordplay to amplify the wholesale deceit practiced by Donald Trump and his administration, calling it out as a “house of gilded swindlers.” His indictment of contemporary politics reaches its apotheosis on the moody, downright dystopian “Western Questions” (“Hollywood halo, the UFO lights / Oozing from every screen / Western questions, desperate elections / The campaign Halloween”).   v

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