One of my favorite emerging acts of 2011 has proven to be Typhoon. My infatuation began after NPR featured the band in a breathtaking Tiny Desk Concert from South by Southwest (SXSW) in January. How the NPR staff managed to refrain from belting out a bellowing yell when they pick up the pace in “The Honest Truth” is completely beyond me.
Typhoon is unique for several reasons. Their performances often include over a dozen musicians. The format harkens back to late 19th century parlor music, when neighbors would gather around the living room sharing in song. It reminds me of grade school music class. Only, this group never dissolves into an incoherent, cluster fuck of noise.
Their 2011 EP A New Kind of House represents the first breakthrough for Portland, OR label Tender Loving Empire. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Kyle Morton, Typhoon proves that several whispers combine into a collective roar. Though the individual parts are rather simple, the group’s timing and delivery is complex and sophisticated.
I was blown away when I saw Typhoon’s Lollapalooza after show at Subterranean in Chicago. A big thanks is owed to whoever is financing this project. In the age of stolen music, it seems unfathomable that a band of this size can exist. I look forward to following them in the years ahead. Chances are, they will never be short on ideas with that many minds in the room.
Stream or download Typhoon’s performance from this year’s Sasquatch Music Festival via NPR, HERE.
Written by Rob Peoni.