Typhoon – Offerings
Portland’s eleven-headed indie rock crew Typhoon return with their fourth album, Offerings; a difficult, cerebral journey through the fracturing of a single soul
Unabashedly literate and wordy, Offerings is a record stacked with tracks titled Empiricist and Chiaroscuro and references to Dante and Samuel Beckett. Unsurprisingly this means that its complex narrative can be emotionally cold at times as the undoubted ambition and intricacy sometimes runs ahead of the hooks. But even on a record that seeks to portray the journey of a fictional protagonist losing his memory, and in turn, his sense of self, there is no shortage of interesting musical distractions on the way.
The appropriately fractured early cut Rorschach manages to cross-pollinate widescreen indie rock, cracked introspective singer-songwriterly verses and harsh Bon Iver style vocal manipulation, a bell-clear violin, apocalyptic imagery and chanting gang vocals for an enormous swelling finale worthy of Arcade Fire’s Funeral. And this four-and-a-half minute track is one of Offerings’ more accessible moments.
Across all of Offerings stretches the claustrophobic, surreal imagery of singer-songwriter Kyle Morton – who for a band with so many members sprawls across this record like a plaid-shirted dictator – a twitching spider tweaking his narratives to evoke maximum fear and anxiety.
By the end of the record – or, as Morton rather pretentiously phrases it, the fourth movement – our protagonist has accepted and succumbed to his dreadful fate, leaving an exhausted audience to complete the meaning of it all. Rather like Twin Peaks, Offerings is a sprawling, ambitious record; asking a lot of its listeners but offering plenty in return for their patience.
Listen to: Rorschach, Remember, Ariadne