After a long gestation period, Bone Coloured, the debut album from singer-songwriter Michael Timmons, has finally readied itself to be unveiled.
On the back of shows with Out Lines and Julia Jacklin, as well as significant airplay on BBC Radio 6, the Glaswegian has quietly creeped into national consciousness with very little fanfare.
Rather than following the formulaic bullshit of the majority of his male peers, in unashamedly writing sappy, mediocre pop songs to make pretty young things fall in love, Timmons makes it abundantly clear from the offset that his intentions could not be any further from this.
Opener ‘Painting’ begins with the haunting “are you finished yet? It’s time to forget”, setting a lyrical tone that the the record largely follows, centred around forgetfulness of places and faces.
The stripped-back production on the record goes perfectly with Timmons’ heart-rending vocal, and largely single-tracked guitar, drenched in reverb, providing atmospheric textures that his songs have not had the benefit of until now.
‘Material’ could easily slot onto any Thom Yorke record, with more than a nod to his trademark lyrical overwhelming self-doubt and paranoia as he whimpers “you keep it inside”, before distortion gets added to the mix to create a cacophonous sound.
‘Hold On Sea’ is the first sign of positivity on the record, and also shows off Timmons’ unique form of song structure.
Introducing itself with an uplifting, fingerpicked melody, before Timmons ensures the morbidity returns from the first line – “find a knife, and hold it tightly, and break the skin”– providing a wonderfully bleak musical juxtaposition.
It is only on ‘Awkward Stare’ that Timmons veers off course; a tepid ballad which is stolen from the Frightened Rabbit cutting room floor, but stripped of any urgency, it sticks out like a sore thumb on a record in which the beauty lies in it’s consistency.
In the space of less than 40-minutes, Timmons breaks your heart, then apologetically glues it back together again.
It is clear that the Glaswegian has taken his time on the sonic landscape of his debut, creating an intriguing listening experience, while still allowing the subtleties of his vocal delivery to remain a focal point throughout.
Words: Graham McCusker