Slim Twig’s new LP A Hound at the Hem is being released November 6th on Calico Corp and Pleasance Records. Billed as a hard psych flipside to the gentler approach of his previous LP Sof Sike, the album is a baroquely arranged tribute to both Nabokov’s Lolita and Serge Gainsbourg’s A Histoir De Melody Nelson.
The album is a collaborative work primarily with Louis Percival, but includes contributions from many notable Toronto artists including Carl Didur, Tim Westberg and Meg Remy of U.S. Girls. Conceived two years ago and recorded on Toronto Island last year, A Hound at the Hem actually pre-dates Sof Sike. Born out of an intense musical process, Slim Twig considers A Hound at the Hem to be his “finest (and certainly densest) musical achievement to date”.
Out of the murky and demented inspiration of Slim Twig’s previous releases we can now hear the sound of a promising young songwriter. Although as idiosyncratic as ever, these new songs showcase an interest in classic songwriting, a fondness for psych-era Rolling Stones, an affinity with the queer power pop of R. Stevie Moore – in short, an odd friendliness (of sorts).
Slim Twig has torn through enough ideas and styles to finance a fistful of bands since releasing his first EPs in 2008. These earlier explorations include the prescient flirtation with an avant-rockabilly sensibility on Vernacular Violence (2008), and his full-length debut, Contempt!, a re-appropriation of off-kilter sampling techniques gleaned from the RZA and Madlib, and presented in a decidedly un-Hip Hop-like format. The latter record stands out as one of the most strangely singular records released on a major Canadian indie label, and as an unsung pre-cursor to the solo, sample-based, oddball pop that by 2012, has become commonplace.