There’s been a chill in the air these last few days so reluctantly, I’ve trudged out to the wood pile to grab logs to keep the embers burning. It’s unwelcome at this time of year, but there’s something reassuring and inviting about the crackle of twigs and the slow rise of flames as the room thaws.
Typewriter, the stunning LP from Jos. Fortin, provides the same rustic warmth. With melodies cradled by double bass, reeds, horns, strings and gentle percussion, Fortin’s gentle vocals and acoustic release slowly to fill the room. These are beautiful songs, heartfelt and poetic. Fortin’s voice is charismatic and confident, speaking quietly with purpose instead of yelling to be heard.
While Fortin obviously possesses a focused and sharp pen, it’s the surprising range of Typewriter that really wins you over. Kinetic blasts of electric guitar, horns and clarinet and faint atmospherics break up the gentle flow of the record and well arranged string help add shape to the LP. The spare opener delivers a chill, but Fortin quickly maneuvers away from the icy terrain. “D’Argent, D’Or” uses horns to add a slinkier, boombastic feel and the pleasing Teitur like sounds of “King Midas” will charm even the most casual of listeners. Joseph’s buoyant delivery is paired with strings and an off kilter guitar line to captivate the listener and it flows perfectly into the powerful closing track, “Just Pretend.”
The seven-minute epic starts humbly; strings and gentle picks but Fortin dissects those notes, adding layers and removing textures without sacrificing the heart of the song. Backing vocals heighten the emotion, and the surprising open space lets you connect with Fortin’s words. It’s a powerful, triumphant conclusion to a fantastic LP. Highly recommended.