Slim Twig – ‘Sof’ Sike’

Review by Andrew Patterson

Toronto’s Slim Twig is a smokey mirror man. A figure as mysterious as he is alluring. Despite a prolific output over the last seven years, or perhaps because of the wide range of styles and ideas explored with this output, Slim Twig is a mercurial entity.

Whether he’s creating found-sound-hip-hop-ish records or churning out short order crackle-pop singles, there has always been a distinct sense of pomp and sophistication. Slim Twig strikes as one of those rare figures born for the spotlight: a jack of all shady trades, a magnetic live presence, an impeccable, resourceful self-promoter, singer, actor, record label owner, etc.etc.etc…

His music, up until now, has embodied this busy-body model, running from touchstone to touchstone, lashing out into new territory and rescinding into bubbling abstruseness. His past projects felt like sprawling, backwater curiosity shops where you could spend hours digging without ever expecting to take something home; just getting your fingers filthy and marvelling at the textures and tints of the recovered and refurbished miscellanea.

Sof’ Sike, on the other hand, feels like one of those crisp, ornate vintage boutiques with minimal stock, impeccable decor and quality goods for which you don’t mind shelling out a little extra. There’s a Ziggy Stardust fridge magnet, an old VHS copy of Performance, a pair of killer leather boots, a rack of pristine paisley shirts, a sleeve of ? & The Mysterions with the record missing.

That is to say, the stylistic references are still there, but the focus has narrowed (specifically to 60’s psych-pop), and because of Slim’s expert consideration, I find myself returning to see what little pieces of the collection I missed on first visit. Interestingly, most of the lyrics also seem to have a specific bent to them: Slim is playing the underdog card pretty heavy, wondering when his true stardom will shine more brightly. It’s a topic that could easily work against him, but because he’s put his best foot forward, with great tact and temperament, I’m left nodding along in jangly agreement, wondering the same thing myself. With records this good, it shouldn’t be long now.