ABOUT THE ALBUM
Emerging from their four-year hiatus, Typhoon tells a masterfully dark tale within their fourth EP installment, Offerings. Each song a unique brushstroke adding to the complex, eery portrait of someone losing grips with reality. Self-awareness slips away, there’s a loss of every milestone achieved throughout the span of one’s lifetime. Along with frontman Kyle Morton’s rich lyrical storytelling, the album’s soundscape hauntingly instills a sense of deprivation and distortion — certain pieces echo and reverb, there’s an overlap between senses.
Although devastating for the story’s central character, the album serves more as an insightful study pondering the weight of cognitive awareness — not only for one’s own selfish motives in maintaining a sense of self, but how this can impact the world beyond one’s own fragile bubble. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the philosophical approach pushes listeners to dig deeper past the turbulent surface layer: what is existence when we lose our understanding of the world?
Despite this overall dark undertone, an ironical sense of determination is a subtle thread woven throughout the album, each song representing a different stage, musing and vibe. Like hidden treasure, cultural and art references present themselves into the narrative, asking listeners to reflect on the intended parallels. The fourth song of the album, “Algernon,” may call to mind a mid-century short story, Flowers for Algernon, where Algernon is the name of a lab rat who’s endlessly subjected to mazes and puzzles.
Similarly, the mantra “Asa Nisi Masa,” from Federico Fellini’s prestigious 8½, is spoken by the album’s protagonist again and again, first in “Wake,” then in “Empiricist”. The motif isn’t designed to be fully decipherable, as it too was left uninterpreted in Fellini’s film — yet it serves the purpose of equating Offerings’ main character to 8½’s equally mentally tormented, Guido. We last hear the phrase in the song, “Ariadne,” as the deteriorating character accepts this mantra has also slipped away.
Typhoon delivers a unique experience with Offerings. Although heavy, there’s a beautifulness that emerges in the instrument choices utilized by the 11 person ensemble: violin strings fulfill a somber mood, the intense plucking and layering of guitars, booming drums and the undercurrent of static breaking in and out. Vocals are also key here, the album’s word count stacking close to 2,300.
While art is subjective to its beholder, it’s a fair takeaway that presentness and awareness are better than the adverse. At the end of Offerings, the character embraces the closing of life’s chapter. The heartbreak of this torrential loss comes with acceptance, reminding us there cannot be light without dark. Nonetheless, there is a peacefulness that exists here, it is the product of allowing fate to run its course.
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We like to imagine if Ray Dolby was doing acid while inventing all of his sound technologies during the '60s and '70s, he may have come up with something like The Listening Hour.
A melancholic, bittersweet melody, “Rorschach” seems to perfectly encapsulate the album’s overall arching mood and theme. With alluring plucking guitars, the song builds its rich layers until there’s a cacophony of beating drums, rich violins and a chorus you’ll want to belt out along to. The lyrics equally serve as the story’s opening act, the hook — you’ll want to know what twists and turns lie ahead and just how this fateful story ends.