Artist’s Showcase: Typhoon

Download: “The Honest Truth” from A New Kind of House (2011)

Download: “Starting Over” from Hunger and Thirst (2010)

Download: “Claws Pt. 2” from Hunger and Thirst (2010)

Typhoon has, for lack of a worse pun, been making big waves lately. Last year, the 12-piece dropped a homerun of an LP, Hunger and Thirst, and were subsequently named the second best band in Portland. In 2011, they’ve put out a lovely 5-song EP, A New Kind of House, and won the attention of a wheelbarrow full of important music critics at SXSW, where they performed a whopping nine times. And in a couple of weeks, they’ll be hitting the road for a cross-country, summer festival-hopping tour (that, very regrettably, has no planned stop in the Triangle…so far).

But their’s isn’t the story of astronomical ascension in the music world, of world-beating YouTube stardom or hollow hit-making. Their victories are modest, and their defeats (on the basketball court) are taken humbly.

And such modesty could somehow be predicted from listening through their studio efforts from the past year: axiomatic, life-cherishing and ill-recognizing lyrics delivered with power and unmistakable vulnerability; instrumental arrangements with incredible variety, the opportunistic string-swelling, horn blaring, egg shaking, and guitar jamming that make the overhead worth it; and enormous 12-piece harmonies (“The Honest Truth”, “Old Haunts, New Cities”) sure to make a 13th member out of most any listener.

As demonstrated by the above medley, they also have a distinct knack for interweaving their own tunes: the final declaration of Hunger and Thirst–“Eternity will shine upon me”–serves as the muffled beginning for A New Kind of House, which also uses the stomp-clap sing along of “Mouth of the Cave.”

At times jubilant and didactic (lines like “Be kind to all of your neighbors / because they’re just like you / And you’re nothing special / unless they are too” are surprisingly convincing), at times riveting in narrative, and always going straight for the kill, Typhoon has something for everyone. Or, more likely, they have a lot of things for everyone, and will for some time to come.

So do yourself a favor and get acquainted with one of the best up-and-coming sounds around. Also, visit Typhoon’s website to pick up more free mp3s or just outright purchase some great music.