In these days of instant downloads, individual tracks and a call for shallow, instantly forgettable and meaningless pop songs, the first great album release of 2018 sits very uncomfortably among the previous statements.
Offerings is the fourth studio album from indie / alt rock band Typhoon from Portland, Oregon.
Typhoon fall somewhere between indie rock and alt folk, if I had to try and categorise their music. There are elements of Arcade Fire in their heaviest and more intense moment. Folk acoustic and traditional rock instrumentation and arrangements, married with the beautiful duel vocals on songs like Empiricist are mesmerising and truly wonderful.
Offerings follows a central figure, allegedly a fictional man who is losing his memory, and in turn, his sense of self. Singer / songwriter Kyle Morton may well be the latest in a long and distinguished line of tortured souls.
From the very first listen, I was drawn into the album. This is not background music. Offerings is deep and richly layered content. Beautifully crafted, it is without doubt best enjoyed as a complete album. Following the story from start to end; and in doing so, this is indeed a concept album.
“I’ve always been preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory. I wanted to explore the questions: What does a person become if they don’t know where they came from? What is the essential quality of the person if you strip away all memory?”
In losing a certain level of control, Kyle Morton was motivated in part by his situation, as well as drawing inspiration from literature, art, and the films of David Lynch and Christopher Nolan’s Memento, he was immersed in during the writing of this record.
Offerings is divided into four movements (Floodplains, Flood, Reckoning, and Afterparty) to represent the mental phases the main character goes through where he first realizes that something is wrong, then struggles through the chaos of his situation, and finally moves into acceptance before succumbing to his dreadful fate.
Rorschach looks at the age of information and collapse of meaning. While on Empiricist, Morten explains: there’s a regression to the womb where the character is back in his bed at home, talking about his range of motion shrinking. This first movement ends with ‘Algernon’ [taken from one of Morton’s favourite short stories, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes], where he’s constantly awakening and in an interrogation with a woman-who the listener should know is his wife, but he doesn’t.”
Offerings is a truly great album.
Typhoon UK Live Dates:
27/02 – THE LEXINGTON – LONDON, UK (2nd date added)
28/02 – THE DEAF INSTITUTE – MANCHESTER, UK
01/03 – BROADCAST – GLASGOW, UK
02/03 – THE LEXINGTON – LONDON, UK (SOLD OUT)
Offerings by Typhoon is released via Roll Call Records on 12th January on vinyl, CD and MP3 formats. The limited edition Blood-Red vinyl (1,000) have already sold out.