Boomkat Product Review:
Head-turning debut album of lysergic soul and avant-R&B chamber pop from LA Timpa; a Nigeria-born, London-based artist possessing a sound comparable to a mix of Blood Orange, Animal Collective, Soaring Wayne Phoenix, Richard Youngs, Klein, Yves Tumor, Arthur Russell, Mica Levi…
Served up on promising yung London label O___o, and mixed down by Warp’s Kwes, ‘Equal Amounts Afraid’ is a faultlessly modest yet enchanting album riddled with timeless musical soul. Following from his 2016 debut ‘Animal’, and guest production for Cold Specks’ trip hop sound, LA Timpa’s gently reserved and melancholic sound is sweetly symptomatic of the ambient zeitgeist in 2020, and arguably, beautifully sympathetic to the needs of modern listeners.
Introspective and avant like that gorgeous Soaring Wayne Phoenix album or Klein’s psyched chop-ups, as sensuous as Blood Orange, but with a taste for expressively harmonised pop refrains that clearly recall Yves Tumor via Richard Youngs, the album unfolds like a dream with suitably eyelid-tugging levels of hypnagogic charm that practically demands it is heard in sequestered, lowlit situations before you share the pleasure with pals.
Seducing us to his singular temporality and hazy atmosphere with the vaporous falsetto and ambient soundfield of sirens and groggy bass in ‘Around’, a Klein-esque cut-up interlude leads into fragmented music box melody and intimate plainsong on ‘Fertile’, whereas ‘Core’ almost echoes the 4AD dream-pop of A.R. Kane, and ‘Give’ beautifully dematerialises indie-pop into ambient gauze. ‘Backyard Exotic’ then surfaces his strangest side in a maze of mushied songcraft, ushering a trippier 2nd half where the songs really start to fray between ‘Caretaker’, the smokers’ hymnal vignette ‘Towel Under The Door’, before channelling Thom Yorke in the melting Mbira melody of ‘Rattle Snake’, and spooling out into proper ambient soul with the spine-tracing lines of ‘Tried Ice’ and the smudged magic of ‘Memory Phone’ where he truly divines a strength in his vulnerability in a way that should resonate with all sensitive souls.
Such a doozy. Don’t sleep!