It’s hard to avoid noticing how well Tim Selles stage name, Timid, the Brave, fits the raw, solitary honesty of his latest release. After winning accolades with his debut, Selles is back with the enigmatically named Firesale and an utter willingness to reveal himself.
Then again, maybe this sudden unburdening is at the heart of the name for the full-length album—one man and a guitar, with minimal accompaniment, letting every thought and doubt out into the world to connect with whoever it reaches. Firesale is hypnotically visual on songs like “Home,” and wrenchingly grounded as it picks at the wounds we all carry with us.
Selles isn’t shying away from any of it, despite—or maybe because of—his moniker. His quiet voice and sparse instrumentation may reveal some hesitations about thrusting forward, but ultimately Selles chooses to go on ahead. He’s all in for “Alice,” a song born out of a revelation following his grandmother’s death, and the strange, business-like way people get through things.
“I was born with this tug of war inside of me,” Selles sings in opener “Tallest Tree,” torn between metaphorically rough terrain and much easier, more travelled roads. But for all the trepidation Selles might project, and feel, there’s no doubt what his choice is as wild sounds coo and summon him to “the woods where the tallest trees grow.”
And so he goes on, boldly stepping beyond his doubts and the comforting allure of a more stable and predictable choice. Firesale opens up from there, willing to assume the risk and ache of a calling to move beyond ordinary and see things from a different view. And so Selles lives up to his chosen name—timid, at the start, but brave when it counts.
Top Tracks: “Time to Go”; “Home
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)