Oregon’s Typhoon is a band that I’ve favored since the release of their terrific 2010 LP Hunger and Thirst. The 13-piece band is independent folk rock’s modern take on parlour music. Parlour music rose in popularity in middle class homes across America during the latter half of the 19th century, charactarized by multiple musicians playing harmonically independent melodies. As instruments and printed sheet music became readily available, locals would gather within the home to perform with whomever was available. For Typhoon and their new record White Lighter, a house in Pendarvis Farm in Oregon’s Happy Valley served as the parlor of choice. Read the band’s June interview with Rip City Review for a glimpse into their recording process.
White Lighter is due out in early 2013, but those seeking an early taste may pre-order a 7″ of the album’s first single “Common Sentiments.” The single drops on October 29. Pressed on Tender Loving Empire, the release is limited to just 200 copies and features a b-side of the track “Green.” Listen to “Common Sentiments” below, and keep your eyes peeled for White Lighter early next year.
Written by Rob Peoni
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.