To string a couple of cliches together, even if a Mary Timony song was a needle in the proverbial haystack, picking it out would be just as easily done as said. She’s put her distinct off-kilter branding on every subtle nuance of everything she’s ever done. In less capable hands, this could be heard as being redundant, but with Timony it’s a sign of artist in complete control of her voice (in the figurative sense). From her days with Helium to the now fourth album of her solo career, for which she’s touring, Timony has marked her work with a unique bent, no matter how it’s been fortified with accouterments.
Recorded with new bassist Chad Molter and drummer Devin Ocampo, The Shapes We Make, is the first record Timony’s released under the moniker of the Mary Timony Band. Still, it’s obviously her brainchild, as one can clearly draw lines between the album and the rest of Timony’s oeuvre. Ringing outside-the-box guitar work? Check: “Killed By the Telephone.” Cool lyrical imagery? Check; “Summer’s Fawn.” Prog weirdness? Check: “Pink Clouds.” And where the sparseness of her previous effort, Ex Hex, was somewhat wanting, the sound of Timony’s “full” band puts each edge in sharp relief and makes each hue of her pallet more vivd. In many ways, Shapes is more cumulative of every thing she’s done than anything she’s done, pulling all her trademarks into one place.