Until He Finds Us

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The slow, steady evolution of Timonium from a shoegaze/slowcore base to a sound more distinctly its own has been one of the lesser-known joys of turn of the century indie rock -- a pity, because the band deserves wider attention. Having been a duo and then a quartet, on their third album, the group is now a trio -- original members Adam Gervey and Adam Garcia are accompanied by Tracy Uba -- and they have found a clear, quietly complex, and textured place to play from. The obvious hints of their background appear throughout -- the steady burn and build of guitars on the opening "Populations," the fondness for space filled only by darker guitar chime, and half-sung/half-sighed vocals on many songs, the open-ended drone and drift on "Rememory Screen." But it's too facile to say only that the group is Low plus Codeine, plus a hint of Slowdive, because the twist that Timonium brings is a sense of play with the songs, twisting time structures and arrangements in a low-key but never totally absent way. Drummer Garcia never fully sticks to steady plod, for instance, holding back here, suddenly upping or dropping the tempo there, adding just enough in the way of dynamics that match the music's own changes. The results on songs like "Flagship" can be quietly breathtaking, granting a sense of epic sweep without turning overblown. Meanwhile, the Gervey/Uba vocal duets, even more than the individual solo turns, add the right air of tender partnership which keeps the songs from a more despairing turn. Until He Finds Us isn't so much melancholic as it is a blend of cool space and warmer playing, to be sure, but the singing sometimes can be a perfect tag team ("Across the Footlights"), as much as a careful blend.