ACL Live Shot: Typhoon
A matter of life and death
By Doug Freeman, 9:49AM, Mon. Oct. 7
Typhoon’s Kyle Morton sings as if his life depended on it, and perhaps it does.
Given that much of the sprawling Portland outfit’s breakout 2013 sophomore LP White Lighter grapples with mortality and Morton’s overcoming organ failure from Lyme Disease as a child, the uneasy, anxiety-riddled edge to his voice that so distinctively scars Typhoon’s songs carries with it an imperative to make the most of this moment.
The band made the most of their moment on ACL Fest’s Honda stage on Sunday. Emerging as an 11-piece, with at times as many as three drummers, four guitars, and a trio of horns, the band unloaded much of their LP in straight order, progressing from “Artificial Light” to “Dreams of Cannibalism” as they tackled the first six songs in sequence.
Typhoon swelled with the dynamic intensity of the Arcade Fire and the carefully arranged grandiosity and emotional impact of Sufjan Stevens, weaving a world both intimate and epic in its wake. Jen Hufnagel’s vocals provided a simultaneous steady foil and soothing salve to Morton’s unsettled yelps and tourniquet-trapped phrasing on “Morton’s Fork” and “Possible Deaths,” while “The Lake” broiled with an unsteady quake beneath its surface.
Diving back into their debut EP, 2011’s A New Kind of House, the band excavated “Summer Home” with a yearning plea before giving way to the horn and violin spell of “Thirst and Hunger.” Closing with “Common Sentiments,” Morton’s angst cast against the band’s roar in uplifting chorus, bruised but not broken.
For more ACL Fest coverage, see austinchronicle.com/acl. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.