MUSIC

PREMIERE | Timber Releases 'Sunstroke'

Dazzling prog-rock rife with undulating soundscapes

Photo Credit: Wes Frazier

This is Alabama's Timber.

Timber premieres their new music video today on Popdust. It's called "Sunstroke," and is from Timber's forthcoming album The Family, slated to drop November 9 on Cornelius Chapel Records.

The duo comprising Timber: Janet Simpson and Will Stewart. Prior to becoming part of Timber, Stewart was in Nashville, working on music with his country-soul band Willie and the Giant. Looking to add some keyboards and vocals to his songs, someone tossed out Simpson's name because of her work with Wooden Wand, Delicate Cutters, and Teen Getaway. Ready to leave for Wooden Wand's European tour, Simpson had just enough time to drop by the studio and do her thing.

One thing led to another, and over the course of time, Stewart and Simpson developed musical chemistry. In 2015, they dropped their self-titled debut EP. Since then, the duo has been working on new music, music leading them to their next offering, The Family.

"Sunstroke" is a dazzling tune, one of those songs betwixt and between. It opens with gently undulating colors and a measured, dreamy flow. Drifting on resonant textures, the tune exudes flavors of prog-rock ambience akin to Pink Floyd. Yet it's not prog-rock; rather it's a gorgeous concoction of indie-rock with a spider's web of prog-rock squeezing through.

The harmonics slowly swell, adding round tones and deposits of intensity. I love the surfacing coruscations from the guitars on the solo, like a bright veil of sonic pressure. The merging of Stewart's and Simpson's voices produces yummy, rolling harmonies, graceful and hypnotic, lush with wistful savors.

Put simply, "Sunstroke" is superlative, and wonderfully wrought. Timber's talent is huge.

Pre-order The Family at Cornelius Chapel Records and Bandcamp.

Follow Timber Website | Facebook


Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.


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Armonite Enters Celestial Realms on 'And the Stars Above'

A dazzling mixture of indie-electro, avant rock and baroque pop.

Italy's violin rock outfit Armonite recently released And the Stars Above, a 12-track (plus two bonus tracks) neo-classical prog rock gem.

Classically trained, composer Paolo Fosso (piano, keyboards) and Jacopo Bigi (acoustic and electric violin) blend classical themes, moody soundscapes, hints of jazz, and stylish prog rock into a sound devoid of vocals, lyrics, and guitars. Their unique sound utilizes the electric violin to attain modified guitar tones.

"Our goal is to capture and raise the imagination" Fosso explains. "Everyday life can be so saturated with cynicism, sometimes we need a ladder to the stars - a reminder that we can live on the vertical dimension of life, high above the surface level."

On the Cleopatra label, And the Stars Above features the talents of Colin Edwin and Alberto Fiorani (bass); Giacomo Lampugnani and Gianmarco Straniero (double bass); Corrado Bertonazzi, Emiliano Cava, and Jasper Barendregt (drums); Maria Chiara Montagnari (voice); Marcello Rosa (cello); and Quartetto Indaco.

In 2015, Armonite released their debut LP, The Sun is New Each Day, to wide acclaim, followed by a tour encompassing the UK, Italy, and Switzerland.

And the Stars Above opens with "The March of the Stars," starting off with a virtuoso intro of dazzling keyboards and an adolescent choir flowing into a galvanizing prog rock tune. Bigi's pulsating, trembling violin merges with the surging synths, creating magnificent sonic surfaces.

Personal favorites include "District Red," with its plucking intro flowing into prog rock burnished by classical flavors riding on a fuzzed-out bassline reminiscent of Muse. The rhythm canters and then gallops, as piercingly delectable layers of violins shed resonant tears. "Plaza de Espana" streams elegance, as the piano courses below tight delicate strings. This is a gorgeously evocative tune.

"Blue Curacao" thrums with edgy emergent synth colors and a crunching groove traveling on a Latin jazz-tinged prog rock tune. The electric violin radiates organic tearing howls, along with deeper guttural growls. "By the Waters of Babylon" merges neo-classical savors with glowing spills of prog rock.

And the Stars Above is glorious. Refined classical aromas swirling with textures of prog rock energy coalesce into nuanced sublime music.

Follow Armonite Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.



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