Timothy Monger forges new sounds, new “classics” on New Britton Sounds

. May 24, 2012.

Timothy Monger would never make an overtly dark album, would he? Can such a beautiful voice, with penchants for amiable/ambling A.M. pop parades, actually stir the more-brooding, shadowy corners of folk music? Yes, but yet, no. It’s been seven years since his charming chamber-pop hiking soundtrack Summer Cherry Ghost –and we find grayer milieus with more somber (still heartfelt) heaves on New Britton Sounds; palpably likened to meeting Monger at the other end of a bridge, whereupon he uncases his guitar and sings to you the melodious chapters of his crossing. He’s stepped through the years, steadily attaining veneration for his pensive, poetic songs (with Great Lakes Myth Society) through the surreal year of that band’s recent hiatus and now, expounding subtle flairs of, yes, cynicism, self-doubt, regrets, and world-weary revelations. That recounting paints a dark picture, but the album’s sonic mélange undermines it, opening doors and drawing shades to indict Monger as an incorrigible prophet of pop’s sunny mirth, with rousing, rock-hinted arrangements bringing thawing horns, prancing banjos, lustrous sweeps of bagpipes and sublimely reverb-wrapped guitars. The two sonic sentiments, his voice (as poetic/articulate as ever) with these still-yet-rousing arrangements, end up blending nicely – still a summer record, but more a moonlit meander as opposed to a sunrise jog.(On Northern Detective Records). Timothymonger.com.