Slim Twig is a man, not a band. In the last 2 years (spent reclusively recording), the distinction has had to be made, as the once solo performer has more readily incorporated collaboration, most obviously by employing a crack accompanying band.
This development should come as little surprise; 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! (2009), 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 today, has become commonplace.
2012 saw the release of a wealth of new Slim Twig material. Appropriately for an artist as diversely prolific as Slim, the year saw full-length album releases, as well as a 12”-split on Clan Destine Records with blog-favourite pals, Dirty Beaches, Ela Orleans, and U.S. Girls.
His latest release on Paper Bag Records was his first since 2009. Sof’ Sike can be seen as a dramatic left (er, make that a right) turn follow-up to Contempt! Replacing analog drum machines and scratched-record samples are the vaguely psychedelic rumblings of live instrumentation: pianos, organs, guitar, bass, drums! Sof’ Sike is a diverse collection of songs, and with its restless approach to genre and uncontained enthusiasm for POP, can be viewed in the lineage of records like The Who’s Sell Out, or Spark’s A Woofer In Tweeters Clothing.
Not one to be pigeon-holed, Slim Twig’s project, A Hound At The Hem, is a narrative album collaboration with his band, consisting of Toronto session heavyweights, Carl Didur, Louis Percival & Tim Westberg, and with Owen Pallett. Taking its cue from Gainsbourg’s Histoire De Melody Nelson, A Hound At The Hem represents the ‘hard psych’ flipside to Sof’ Sike and that LP’s lighter touch.
With Slim Twig releases on Paper Bag Records, Pleasence, Calico Corp. and Clan Destine Records, the release of U.S. Girls new LP on FatCat, as well as releases by international acts, Eric Copeland & Sic Alps on Twig’s own Calico Corp. imprint