Tim & Sam’s Tim & the Sam Band with Tim & Sam - Life Stream
It’s been a long time coming but after two years literally in the wilderness Tim & Sam have finally delivered Life Stream, a lovingly crafted and delightful pastoral post rock debut. It’s not quite that simple in truth as the album eschews the traditional post rock instrumentation and unveils itself through layers of xylophone, cello and ukulele. This is the unmistakable work of mountain people and the album represents a gentle, but literal, expression of the environment from which it emerges like a dazed butterfly in the morning haze. “All Tucked Up” is masterfully mournful and, together with the equally elegiac ‘Reflections’ represents the best example of Tim & Sam’s talent for creating vivid mindscapes through their music. Not that there’s an absence of unbridled joy, an emotion most effectively encapsulated in the majestic instrumental beauty of ‘Summer Solstice’ which carries forth images of babbling brooks, soaring ospreys and gambolling lambs. Life Stream isn’t an unqualified success however; this is the first time they’ve flirted with vocals and, unsurprisingly, these are the album’s weaker tracks. An apparent lack of confidence in their voices determines that their effect laden vocals are too easily subsumed into the mix while contrasting starkly with the ambient purity and clarity of the traditional instrumentation.