Homegrown talent Christopher Panasoukis, better known under moniker Timberwolf, has had a tremendous two years in his musical career. Since releasing his five-track EP Flux in 2015, the singer-songwriter has performed across the country to sold out crowds across the country, won the Best Songwriter and Best Male Artist categories at the 2015 South Australian Music Awards, and hit over 1 million plays on Spotify.
The past couple of years have seen Timberwolf co-writing his upcoming debut album with names including Jim Fairchild (Modest Mouse) and Tommy King (HAIM, Madonna, Brandon Flowers). ‘Washed Out’, the first single to be released off the LP, is a mellow bluesy track that has already made a solid impact on the airwaves. If it’s any indicator of the calibre of the anticipated album, listeners are in for a hell of a treat.
CLIQUE Mag had a chat with the singer-songwriter as he wraps up recording for a projected album release this winter. Make sure to listen out for the young musician’s upcoming tracks — this Adelaide boy is really doing us proud!
What have you been keeping busy with lately?
My bonsai’s having a real hard time in this heat, so I have to make sure she’s hydrated and the chickens are happy. In between doing that I finished building a studio at home so I can finish off the rest of the record on my own. That’s been a really exciting project to sink my teeth into. Plus it’s fringe-time in Adelaide so the city feels pretty alive at the moment…
‘Washed Out’ is a beautiful, dreamy track — can listeners expect more of this sound from your upcoming LP, or is it taking more of a varied approach? What has the writing process been like?
You’ll definitely find parts of ‘Washed Out’ in other songs, but it’s looking like the album will have a few different seasons. Some of it was recorded in LA, some in Newcastle, some in my bedroom of my old house in Glenelg, and now it’ll be finished in Mile End. So I guess it’s a collage, and it’s been over a year in the making. There’s a lot of growth to reflect on in one year and that’s definitely reflected in this bunch of songs.
When can we expect the release of your debut album?
It gets cold in winter and sometimes you need a companion.
Who have been some of your biggest musical influences for your recent work?
Nobody in particular. I think the sounds are kind of creating themselves and represent the moments, the gear and the environment around me. I’ve been listening to a lot of Bonobo, Timbre Timbre & Steely Dan lately so maybe there’s a silver snail trail between tracks.
You’ve collaborated with some pretty incredible names lately. Have there been any particular highlights you’d like to talk about?
Sitting on a black leather couch in Tommy King’s grand old lounge room/studio (plays keyboard for HAIM) in the Hollywood hills, looking out of his bay window across the Cherry Blossoms. I was finishing off the lyrics to a new song ‘Vulnerable Heart’ while Tommy laid down some Mellotron, and that felt pretty cool.
Jim Fairchild (Modest Mouse) and I also had a pretty magic day in Valentine Studios. The Beach Boys, Jackson Browne and Frank Zappa have all recorded there, it’s like a time capsule into the 50’s. We had been paired to write together and when he rocked up we decided we weren’t really in the mood, so we went to grab some Starbucks but by the time we came back we were getting so passionate talking about he concept of our ‘own’ time, that we wrote and tracked a song on the spot through one of the first ever made Universal Audio mixing desks. It started out on this wonky old upright piano and ended up sounding about as time-less as the studio we were in. Crazy memory.
You recently played a show at the Grace Emily in Adelaide. In light of your success over the last 18 months, how does it feel to be playing hometown shows?
Kind of feels like getting a prolonged big warm hug. Or like riding your bike with training wheels on it. I feel very nurtured in Adelaide.
Do you have any advice for young aspiring musicians?
Apart from a select few, it’ll take a while to find ‘your’ sound or the most honest version of writing. You may never, and the goal posts are always moving. So don’t be afraid to write and release music that represents a snapshot of you in time, because no matter how much you like it at the time you will probably be embarrassed by it come 8 months time. Just like your old blonde tips in photos. Except they might get cool again. But you’re better off having released something than cutting yourself down before you even start.
What do you have planned for the future of your career?
Finish this album, move to the beach and be present – not forecasting into the future.
Timberwolf’s debut album is set for a projected release in winter of this year. In the meantime, you can listen to ‘Washed Out’ and follow what he’s up to at www.timberwolf.com.