Typhoon – Offerings (album review)

by Woody on January 10, 2018

Photo – Jeremy Hernandez

Typhoon, the Portland based outfit led by Kyle Morton stand without many peers when it comes to pulling your heartstrings. Their previous efforts would see Morton and crew bring you to despair only to pull you back from the brink with sweeping choruses, horns and strings. It was like watching a Spielberg movie in that you were drained when it ended.

Offerings explores what happens when a fictional man slowly loses his memory. “I wanted to explore the questions: What does a person become if they don’t know where they came from? What is the essential quality of the person if you strip away all memory?” explains singer/songwriter Kyle Morton.

Offerings is divided into four movements (Floodplains, Flood, Reckoning, and Afterparty) and clocks in at 70 minutes. I took my dog for an hour long walk in the cold and snow while listening to this the other day. I was cold, tired and mentally fatigued when I got home; but I felt I’d been on a spiritual adventure.

I’ve only listened to the album a few times and I’m no is position to break down individual components yet (although the jam during Unusual is out of of this world). I will say that it really is something special but it needs your attention when listening it. It is darker than previous efforts; it lacks those massive cathartic shots buoyed by horns that I’ve come to expect from Typhoon.

Morton is a clearly an ambitious dude and after spending some time with Offerings, I wouldn’t bet against him pulling anything off. My only concern is that the album doesn’t collapse under its own weight with some listeners. If it does, push the fucker off; it is worth the effort.

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Typhoon is here


Typhoon – White Lighter [album review]

by Woody on August 19, 2013


I can juggle two balls like a genius. I can sometimes keep three up for a little bit. What Typhoon is trying to do is juggling a dozen or so balls while lit on fire. That I can’t do.

For those not familiar with Typhoon, they are 11 or 12 strong and make grandiose folk music by blending traditional rock instruments with a horn section, string section, two drummers, etc. The string section will come off as delicate as a china doll while the guitar is fuzzed out with distortion on the same song. Drums crash in shattering the delicate nature while the horns will be barely noticeable, holding the song up on one tune; only to see the reverse happen one tune later.

This is the Portland outfit’s second full length LP. While the first LP and the follow up EP was great, you could only wonder if they could continue to create music that resonated or if they would become a novelty act, more known for their sheer size. With so many moving pieces, things could go wrong in so many different ways. Fronted by Kyle Morton and his lyrics, White Lighter is absolutely mesmerizing.

In listening to Morton’s lyrics, it feels as if you are reading someone’s journal after they have passed. Love lost, opportunities missed, possibility of regrets. The fact that Morton escaped a serious illness permeates throughout the album. Arrangements vascillate between somber and bouncy on the same song, always finding a way to a massive finish – almost saying that no matter what life throws at you, push forward and you will be stonger for the challenge.

They are hitting the road this fall in support of White Lighter. I had the pleasure of catching them at Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church and it was an epic experience.

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Portland’s indie army, Typhoon, is following up on the excellent EP – A New Kind of House – with White Lighter. White Lighter will see the light of day on August 20th via the fine folks at Roll Call Records. Here’s the lowdown from the PR firm and if that isn’t enough, there is a great interview with lead singer, Kyle Morton, on the Wall Street Journal.

Recorded at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, Typhoon isolated themselves from outside distractions to arrange and record this collection of songs with an impressive emphasis on storytelling and melody.

“On the farm, we were living inside the record” says songwriter Morton. “I had one place in the woods where I would write and rewrite one song, and a different place for working another. The whole thing was laid out spatially over so many acres. I built a small fort in the wood barn where I kept my books and guitar. Slept a couple feet away from the recording desk. When it was cold, we built wood fires, when it was warm we went swimming down the road. Friends came and went, sometimes recording with us.”


We fell in love with Typhoon at SxSW and sang the praises about their latest album, Hunger and Thirst. The Portlanders also released an EP called A New Kind Of House and just made the stunning “Summer Home” available as a free download. Catch this 12-piece on tour if you can, either as a headliner or opening for The Decemberists.

Typhoon – Summer Home

From Hunger and Thirst:

Typhoon – CPR/ Claws Pt. 2

Typhoon – Starting Over (Bad Habits)

Typhoon also performed a medley of “The Sickness Unto Death” (from Hunger and Thirst) and “The Honest Truth” (from A New Kind of House) at SxSW, Live for NPR at the Driskill Hotel.

Tour Dates:

TOUR DATES (more to be announced):
* Indicates shows with The Decemberists

May 29th            Sasquatch Festival                     George, WA
June 3rd              Wonder Ballroom                      Portland, OR
July 7th               Sundown @ Ecotrust                 Portland, PR
July 19th             Britt Pavilion                               Jacksonville, OR *
July 20th             Idaho Botanical Gardens,         Boise, ID *
July 21st             Twilight Concert Series              Salt Lake City, UT *
July 22,               Big Sky Brewery                          Missoula, MT *
July 23rd             The Filling Station VFW             Bozeman, MT
July 25th             Cedar Cultural Center               Minneapolis, MN
July 28th             The Iron Horse Music Hall        Northampton, MA
July 30th             Newport Folk Festival               Newport, RI
July 31st             Osheaga Festival                         Montreal, QB
August 2nd        The Mercury Lounge                  New York, NY
August 3rd         Littlefield                                      Brooklyn, NY
August 4th         Sixth & Synagogue                      Washington, DC
August 6th         Lollapalooza                                 Chicago, IL
August 8th         The Old Rock House                   St. Louis, MO
August 9th         The Riot Room                             Kansas City, MO
August 10th       Hi-Dive                                         Denver, CO
September 10th       Musicfest NW @ Pioneer

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