Album Review :
Timbre - Winter Comes to Wake You

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Artist: Timbre
Album: Winter Comes to Wake You
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: April 27, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Autumn People
2. Veni, Sancte Spiritus
3. Fragile Forest
4. White on Red
5. Fjäril
6. Tes Yeux
7. Kyrie Eleison
8. Bringing Meaning to Winter
9. Chorea Amori
10. We with Unveiled Faces

Chances are, you’ve heard the work of this harpist before, maybe without even realizing. She is the one that plays at the end of mewithoutYou’s latest album, Brother, Sister. Before that she helped out with Cool Hand Luke’s The Fires of Life. And of course there’s been a number of other collaborations, including Anathallo, Foxhole, Hundred Year Storm, and Bradley Hathaway, among others. So for someone who is coming to the foreground by adding the harp to other bands’ recordings, what does she sound like on her own? This was the question I found myself asking a few weeks ago as Winter Comes to Wake You found its way into my list of albums to review. And it was a question that I was eager to answer.

At a basic level, this record is exactly what you would expect a solo record from a harpist to sound like. On one hand, classical. On the other, indie. The two combine together for what could make some great soundtrack music for a movie, but it could also work just as well for a cozy night at home sitting by the fire and reading a book. On some songs, such as “Autumn People” and “White on Red,” Timbre adds her own chilling voice to the mix with lyrics and singing that add to the slightly-dark and haunting sound of the harp. Chanted background vocals give “We with Unveiled Faces” a more epic feel, while bells, piano, occasional drums, and a cello are added here and there throughout this release to give variety to an album that could otherwise blend together a little too easily. A smart move on her part.

Sadly, there is probably only a very small niche market for stuff like this right now, but if Sigur Rós can make it big, so can Timbre. Dreamy, ethereal, and clearly artistic, her music will appeal to fans of the original. While it may be much mellower than most music discussed on this site, I have trouble calling it relaxing because of the darker nature behind the melodies and the sound of the harp. Either way, it’s great music for late nights and rainy days, and I imagine it would be great inspiration for painters. If you buy it now, you’re guaranteed to receive my seal of approval, although I would personally recommend ditching the earbuds or computer speakers and listening to it on larger home speakers to be able to really capture the experience.

8/10

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