Album Notes - Typhoon - Sympathetic Magic

Album Notes - Typhoon - Sympathetic Magic

January 31, 2021

Melancholic joy. That might not make sense, but I don't know how to describe my perception of Typhoon's music any more precisely. Either way, the juxtaposed unsteadiness of Kyle Morton's voice and delicate acoustic guitar with the assertive horn and string augmentations drive me directly to a state of contemplation. There's just something about Typhoon. Much to my surprise given their stylistic tendencies, Offerings, their fourth album, was my favorite of 2018. Almost three years to the day, they're back. 

Completely unannounced, on January 22, the Oregonians dropped Sympathetic Magic. A proper quarantine album if there ever was one, Morton said the songs were written "puttering around the house these past several months, because what else was I going to do?" Demos were then sent to his bandmates which spurred contributions ranging from recordings via voice memo to personal visits to lay tracks in Morton's basement. Clocking in just under 40 minutes, the new LP is a half hour shorter than their 2018 masterpiece. That alone makes it more accessible. Still, if Offerings wasn't your thing, Sympathetic Magic isn't likely to win you over. This one may not end up as my top choice of 2021, but damn if Morton and co. don't continue to push all the right emotional buttons.