HOT DREAMS, ARTS & CRAFTS
Taylor Kirk doesn’t want you to be comfortable. Whether it’s the dark and minimalist creep-folk of his earlier LPs, or the sludgy swamp-rock of Creep On Creepin’ On, Kirk’s proven that he wants to live under your skin.
In Hot Dreams, Kirk has created something akin of the audio representation of a good David Lynch project. Yes, Lynch has made attempts to recreate his visual art to audio form already, but this is something totally different, and dare I say, better. Like Lynch, Kirk focuses on the seedy underside of small-town America. Inspired by a trip to Laurel Canyon, Kirk decided to arrange the songs at the Banff Centre and Calgary’s National Music Centre, giving the songs a decidedly western feel.
It’s not all steel guitar and twang, however, as perfectly timed synths hang around like dead air and piano keys seem to crawl up from the soil. That’s not even mentioning the brilliance of Colin Stetson’s sax, which brings a certain sultry swelling throughout the album.
The swanky “Hot Dreams” and “Curtains?!” — which may be the closest thing to an actual rock song Kirk’s ever recorded — carry the front half of the album, but the real draw of this album is the inspired stretch of songs starting from the standout “Grand Canyon.”
None of the new musical shifts should alienate older fans — well, no more than usual.
By Cory Jones