Portland-based indie band releases an ‘honest’ album
“A New Kind Of House,” an EP by the up-and-coming Portland band Typhoon, is set to win over a wealth of listeners faithful to the sound of troubled musicians.
The focus behind “A New Kind Of House,” is not immediately clear, even after a fourth or fifth listen. However, the album serves as a cartharsis: It’s pow-erful, moving and seems inspired by a real human experience. It’s not some pop-influenced expression of pubescent angst; this is the adult version: a mire of emotion that has historically worked extremely well for the Goth movement and the emotionally charged Indie movement of the early aughts. Unlike most of its contemporaries, Typhoon manages to pull off this emotion without sounding contrived or disingenuous. The band’s just being honest.
When it comes to describing the overall sound of this EP there are the standard descriptors that can be broadly applied to all on this collection: lush, captivating, sincere, moving and triumphant. But, as with anything that’s well- made, it’s incredibly difficult to separate one piece from the whole. It’s hard to imagine this EP as a collection of separate songs, and even harder to choose the highlights. That being said, there are a few tracks that stand out above the rest — not necessarily as the greatest but certainly as the most interesting.
My favorite is the second track “Summer Home,” which has a sound that gently guides the listener deeper into the EP’s true meat. The song consists of cheerful percussive elements and the sort of poetic lyricism which lends itself to repeated listenings. “Summer House” is is an excellent showcase of Typhoon’s talents and of its overall range of emotion. Everything about this track seems thoughtfully considered, right down to the title, which is appropriately chosen for the mood the track conveys. The song also provides a gentle segue into the intended magnum opus of “Claws Pt. 1.”
Clocking in at nearly 8 minutes, “Claws Pt. 1” is the longest track on the EP and is given billing as one of the EP’s foremost singles. Perhaps it’s because of the pressure put on it that “Claws” is a bit off, somehow coming across as schizophrenic and constipated at the same time. Frantic, uncomfortable and strange, Claws is a low-point in an otherwise stellar display of talent.
Ultimately, “A New Kind Of House” is nothing if not enjoyable. An EP full of images: washed-out postcard snapshots of steel-toed workboots following the muddy treads of a snowy road or lonely woodcuts of unashamed blue-collar heartache.
Typhoon seems like a band that doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t, and that is what good music is all about. So if you’re in the mood for something a little bit special give “A New Kind of House” a listen.
Typhoon’s “A New Kind of House” will be released March 8 and can be heard on KSLC 90.3FM.
Eric Tompkins/KSLC 90.3 FM