We’re All Dying, but We’re All Dying Together

If you want to understand why my affections for Portland band Typhoon run as deep as they do, you should just read this brief interview/profile of them in Paste Magazine.

As a kid, Kyle Morton stumbled upon an apocalyptic vision of mortality. He saw “concentric circles of death,” spiraling in blackness to infinity.

“One was a personal death, like you and your family and the people you know,” he says, the words darting rapidly off his tongue. “And another is that—even if you even live long enough—it’s all temporary. Despite the giant difference of years, it all amounts to basically nothing. As a kid, I couldn’t articulate it as well as I can now, but it used to give me this anxiety. And that’s when I stopped being able to sleep. It felt like, no matter how good things are going, the world is slowly ending.”

Almost all of Morton’s music, created with his 10 bandmates in Typhoon, is an extension of that realization. White Lighter, their latest LP, is built on the urgency of death and the beautifully fleeting nature of life: Morton unspools his tortured poetry over lush blankets of sound—pianos and guitars and multiple drum kits; horns and strings swelling to angelic crescendos.

“Soon enough you will be dancing at my funeral,” Morton quivers at the stirring climax of “Dreams of Cannibalism,” his voice engulfed in brass moans and shouted harmonies. It’s both life-affirming and—as the band’s Facebook bio currently reads—also “death affirming.”

We see eye-to-eye on the big picture of life. Do yourself a favor and go buy White Lighter right now. Listen to it turned up loud with good headphones in a space that makes you comfortable.

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