Time apart served the Swedish pop trio Peter Bjorn and John well, as they return with a still-catchy, sonically broader album.
Typhoon is a beast of a band that is nearly a dozen members, created in Salem, Oregon over a decade ago. Known for their dark lyrics and thunderous sound, the band has a deep appreciation for all of the stages of life. Typhoon expands their existential ruminations into a stunning theatrical production in their fourth studio album, Offerings, and this is the band’s most complex and vulnerable record yet.
As frontman Kyle Morton writes on Typhoon’s website, “It’s a record from the perspective of a mind losing its memory at precisely the same time the world is willfully forgetting its history. The urgent question becomes: without causality, without structures of meaning, without essential features of rational thought, is there anything that can save us from violence/oblivion?” Offerings is a journey of hanging on to the miniscule string of hope that remains before everything is said and done.
The record is divided into different movements: “Floodplains,” “Flood,” “Reckoning” and “Afterparty,” representing the mental phases a fictional man goes through after waking up in a bed with no recollection of what happened. It’s an album about losing memory, struggling with the mayhem of his new reality and finally accepting his unfortunate fate.
Offerings starts off with “Wake,” a chill-inducing, mid-song explosion of drums and horns. The lyrics explain that the character wakes up in a bed of his own feces with absolutely no recollection of what had happened. The first movement goes through the utter shock of losing one’s memory, and ends with “Algernon,” where he’s being interrogated by a woman that, unbeknownst to him, is the man’s wife.
The next movement, called “Flood,” begins with “Unusual,” an acoustic guitar, falsetto-ridden track that showcases the orchestrative production sound of Typhoon. On “Chiaroscuro,” the violin, keys and orchestrative strings bring optimism to the record. During this movement, the character realizes he can’t fight the feeling of losing oneself.
The final movement is about the peace of mind that comes after losing one’s mind. The last few songs of the record–especially “Bergeron,” “Ariadne” and “Sleep” portray a more euphoric, celebratory atmosphere, where the character has officially accepted his fate.
Offerings is a seventy-minute exploration of life, loss and fate. It’s an euphoric album that pushes the boundaries of innovation from the past decade.