“Spectres” by Jonathan Timm, Song Premiere
Jonathan Timm has spent a lot of time travelling the musical landscape. His previous records from various bands can each be pinpointed to specific regions: folk, country, or rock. But on Fever Dream, the long-gestating album under his own name, Timm plots out his own region. It borders on all the above genres, borrowing from them at will but beholden to none. And today you can get a peek at what that sounds like with “Spectres.”
This song is emblematic of what makes Fever Dream such an emotive and varied journey. It begins with a lilting acoustic guitar melody, finger-picked delicately beneath elegiac backing vocals, and then builds with strings and electric guitar and hurtling drums into something that soars beyond itself, both propulsive and downtrodden. It has the instrumental palette of a rock ballad, the lyrical solemnity of a folk song, and the full-blooded warmth of americana, all without dwelling obviously in any of these categories. In short, it’s a Jonathan Timm song, the product of an experienced and adventurous songwriter at the height of his powers.
Lyrically, the album deals heavily in grief, projecting a personal viewpoint into something visceral and universal and glimmering with both melancholy and hope. I feel especially affected by this verse from “Spectres,” the way it exhibits the banality of someone mentioning a lost friend and the subsequent re-realization of that loss in the speaker:
When they say I sound like you
I always know that’s not true
but the thought of your voice
coming through my throat
with all its rasp and honesty
all that I aspire to be
for a moment I forget
you are not here
I love how Timm stretches out that last syllable, as if he is pining to remain in that moment of forgetfulness that has already past.
Mostly Midwest is proud to premiere the track. Give it a listen, and keep an eye out for our review of Fever Dream around its June 25th release date.