Timber Timbre

Polaris Music Prize 2011 Preview: Timber Timbre

The Polaris Music Prize Gala is only a few weeks away. So I reached out to a number of the short-list nominees to ask them a common set of questions. My first Q&A spotlights Toronto/Montreal trio Timber Timbre. The group's LP Creep On Creepin' On stalks and soars, haunted by an eerie timelessness.

Taylor Kirk's expressive vocals wander and roam, while - just as responsive and sympathetic -, the mournful and spirited orchestration by Simon Trottier (lapsteel, autoharp) and Mika Posen (violin, keyboard) trail alongside him. Creep On Creepin' On energizes, spooks and endears like a classic Hitchcock film on headphones.

Below, Mika Posen answers my questions.

Why do you think Creep On Creepin' On stands out among other albums from Canadian musicians this year?

It was made by a linguistically representative group of Canadians - one member is Anglophone, one is Francophone, and one is bilingual.

What was going through your mind when Creep On was selected for the long list? And then when it reached the short list?

We desperately hoped that (lapsteel/guitar player) Simon wouldn't have to go suit shopping before the big gala. Simon is a very tall man, and suit shopping, for him, is a nearly impossible task.

How would you describe the initial impulse that led to the making of this album? What is the central feeling or spirit behind Creep On?

Making music that feels and sounds timeless.

What sorts of things come up when you listen to this record? And which track from this LP should people (who have never heard of you before) listen to - a track you feel represents the album as whole?

Screaming women. Swamp sounds. Saxophonic echoes. Strings frozen in time. "Too Old to Die Young".

Can you describe the process of making the LP? What were some of the things you learned while making this record and at what point during the process did you realize you were making an LP that was going to be intriguing enough to get this kind of recognition?

The record was recorded fairly quickly - in a matter of weeks. It was done both in Montreal and in a small Quebec town. There was lots of soup, wine, and ice cream involved. We had access to the most amazing instruments, guest musicians, studio gear, and engineers - if nothing else we knew that the SOUND was going to be spectacular. Beyond that, one can never know.

Which album in the short list would you partner Creep On up with and why?

Feel It Break by Austra. There are some kindred sounds and spirits among us.

Aside from your own record, which album from the short list did you enjoy listening to the most and why?

The three of us don't necessarily have the same taste in music, but we are always happy to listen to The Suburbs in the touring van, no matter what time of day, what country, what mood.


Follow the countdown to the Polaris Music Prize Gala on the official website.

Check the Timber Timbre website for information about upcoming shows and news about the band. You can purchase their LP Creep On Creepin' On at the Arts & Crafts online shop.

Photo of Timber Timbre by Vince Kmeron

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