Tim Schmidt – Slower Things
Analog Soul 2010
[tags: acoustic, folk, 2010]
Listen while reading:
A Swede living in Leipzig/Germany playing acoustic folk – whatever Tim Schmidt’s reasons were to move, it seems that his creativity got a boost from it. A couple of weeks ago he released Slower Things and I’m surprised with the result for it is classical in instrumentation and singing but still delivers some fresh impulses and is distinctive in many ways from many recent folk releases. I first heard about Tim’s music on the Schallgrenzen blog and I’m happy I found his music there. And now I’m glad to give a little insight into the album here on CFM.
The outstanding feature for me is the pronounced and sometimes a bit experimental guitar play. Tim’s finger picking leads to really nice melodies and interesting breaks resulting in entertaining songs with lots of character. Brighton Beach is one candidate that qualifies for the described qualities and I think it is one perfect example to represent the whole album. I could listen to it over and over because Tim Schmidt’s voice fits perfectly to his guitar melodies and he’s not afraid of using dissonances to pronounce the moment.
But acoustic guitar and voice aren’t the only instruments you’ll find on Slower Things. There are also clarinet, cello, flute, bass and even saxophone to enrich the experience. What I’ve Been Looking For or Crows Cracks The Skies convince with melancholic fragments of saxophone melodies, which result in a very unique feeling to these songs. But still I wouldn’t describe them as jazzy because the folk character dominates every single minute and that’s what really great about it, because the experience of listening to a very cohesive record never leaves you and you can listen to it from the beginning to the end and never get the feeling that something is disturbing the album.
Despite the fact that Tim doesn’t move too far away from the roots of classical contemporary folk music with typical European characteristics (speaking of the Swedish influences…) he still writes songs that are bluesy in character like the fantastic Eldorado or the more traditional sounding Over The Hill with its combination of string instruments and again saxophone. The fast played finger picked guitar reminds me of Matthew Solberg’s EP I Am A Fool which I really like.
One last thing that I loved very much about Slower Things: it’s the dry production and the down to earth aesthetic of the whole album. Tim’s voice sounds very earthy and so does his guitar. This creates a very intense and edgy listening experience. She Moves Me demonstrates this in a very good way, but it also shows that Tim Schmidt’s album isn’t the sort of record you can play every time – you have to be in the mood for it and you have to be willing to listen to the tracks attentive, because they won’t work as background music, they are meant to be consumed like a very good, very dry red wine.