Norway - Full Moon 226 - 02/04/15
This is a re-issue of an album originally put out at the ebb of 2013 (by their own TimTim Records, as a limited, vinyl only record). Almost a year later the label Solsystemet reasoned
that Tim Tygg's 22 should be available to more listeners, so they re-launched the album in December 2014. As a premature Christmas gift, it seems. The label Hubro have called it:
'a little lo-fi masterpiece of an album'. Lo-fi, or rather low-key.
Tim Tygg is the duo of Mari Kvien Brunvoll and Johanne Birkeland Svendsen. Brunvoll was/is part of the magnificent band Building Instrument, who put out a splendid
self-titled album last year. The duo formed in late 2006 (during the rainy winter...), and the two young ladies treat a number of instruments as well as
having a pair of fantastic vocal sets. Sweet, spine-tickling, goose bumps-giving harmonies. Their voices are matching each other very good. In a way the music of Tim Tygg relate to label mates
Ai Phoenix (who returned with Hey Now/Being Here Is Everything last year). They both create fragile music of the almost transparent kind. Their songs glow
and they radiate when they slowly are sneaking up on you. 22 was recorded with and produced by Robert JønnumOne, who was a member of Ai Phoenix (now a part-time/associate member,
as well as their producer), and the recording took place in a very old wood house in custody of Fortidsminneforeningen (The society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments). I
guess the atmosphere and aura of the recording location affected and coloured the spirit and soul of the songs recorded there. The music sounds exotic, and it has some 'ancient' vibe. The
ghosts of the house have probably entered the songs, I guess.
22 presents 12 songs over a running time of some 37 minutes, and there are both magic and mysticism within the songs. You can sense some vintage, invisible hue sprayed over the
music. Tim Tygg's songs hold authentic patina. I guess these songs will shimmer and sparkle with a growing beauty as they age. Spin 22 to let the songs sink in, or let yourself glide
into the safe waters of the music created by Birkeland and Brunvoll and all their voices, their strings and all of their delicate instrumentation (including piano, guitar, pump organ, accordion,
viola, zither, mandolin, and others). It is a slow ride, but it is a good one. Most of the songs are diamonds, but some are rougher than others. They come in different shapes, and none is
clean-cut. Of the twelve tracks only one hold a Norwegian title, "Togtur" ('Train Ride'). This is also the first instrumental (well, it has voices, but does not hold any lyrics) and it has
got this intermission-like feel to it. Some of the best tracks count the shy and shiny opener "Everyday Now", the indeed fragile and introvertly vibrant "Swallow", the sad-eyed folk song
"When You're Old" and the sweet and bittersweet "Would You". The short, bleak-sunny "Sun Comes Up" somehow relate to its following song (a fellow song?): the sparse and powerful "Winter Knights".
"Swim Beside You" is somewhat dark and mystic, while "Rainbows" has a country-ish twang to it. Sometimes I come to think of a Hope Sandoval/Mazzy Star vibe, while at other times (with "Colors")
I think of artist like Espers and Danielle Dax, even PJ Harvey comes to mind. Yes, "Colors" for is spellbinding and a bit spooky sounding. The closing track, the tap-rhythmed "Makro Mikro" is
also an instrumental almost (with voices used as some 'instrument'), being the last (train) ride before the album ebbs.
22 is a blissful listen. Blissful in a low-key but yet somewhat 'loud' way. When the album ends, you want to play it from the top again. To soundtrack the winter mood for the moment.
The album is glowing and warming when everything is all ice and snow outside.
Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen