Timi Tamminen’s performance style has a really unique presentation to it. His latest release, a self-titled collection of songs, includes the gradually developing and particularly unpredictable and spacious The Ballad Of a Keg Heart, and this is just a fraction of what his songwriting amounts to.
Beginning and progressing for the most part with the simple pathway of a solo piano part, the song is driven forwards by a meandering melody line and a varied and consistently rising level of passion witnessed in the leading vocal. If at first the track feels like a simple ballad, as the title implies and the piano and the softness of the opening vocal support, it later evolves to become something of a modern day, jazz-inspired ode to deep thinking.
The calmness in many ways contrasts with the manic, modern life aspect of the lyricism. The concept of the keg heart, the drinking alone – it all begins in a smokey jazz bar sort of setting, though there’s a slightly retro sound to the keys that accompany that leading instrument; a factor which reappears later on in the build. Soon enough the calmness becomes mild chaos, much as the state of mind that turns to and depends upon drinking alone swiftly moves from underlining blissful peace to being driven entirely by even more uncontrollable energy than was first experienced. The song highlights all of this really well, the music is creatively free yet creates before you an arena of emotional intensity and drama. It’s unusual, and that adds to its appeal. The musical developments lean more in the way of electronica than the traditional tones of jazz, and Timi Alexander’s performance teeters between the whisper of a poet and the soulful scream of an artist who has bottled up his feelings for far too long. It’s a powerful combination and refreshing to stumble upon.