With a playful beat to guide the melody he wields so easily, Chris Timbers steps back into the spotlight with “Don’t Mind the Rain” this March, quickly reminding listeners why his brand of singer/songwriter has been getting as much credit from critics as it has. Timbers has a voice that speaks for itself quite literally, but what we notice more in this performance is his ability to manage a melodic complexity that is becoming harder to come by in his scene. There might be a troubadour or two that you should be keeping up with right now, but this is one player who deserves to be at the forefront of your radar if you like smart indie music.
There’s a lyrical comfortability within this track that is striking and surprisingly forward for how smooth the music is, and being that we’re supposed to focus on the intricacy of the rhythm as much as we are the main hook, I think this speaks to how much Timbers wants to diversify his work compared to that of his peers. He could have gone with a much simpler setup in this performance, but he’s going out of his way to put as much varnish on everything from the guitar solo to the tonal presence of his own voice, which is not something you see a lot of musicians – solo or otherwise – doing in 2023. This is someone invested in his music, and “Don’t Mind the Rain” showcases this with its compositional charm.
I love the way the drums and the guitar parts practically war for our attention towards the climax of this single, and because of how loud everything gets by the end of the song, you would think it could give Timbers a hard time at the microphone, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. He relishes the pressure in this arrangement and goes so far as to thrive from the tension he’s creating in the groove, which is more than can be said for some of his contemporaries who have tried to pen this sort of crossover power ballad for years now. Again, I’m coming back to the technical end of “Don’t Mind the Rain” because of its alluring depth, the better part of which, mind you, I have not been able to find in the vast majority of pop music to land on my desk in the last year.
“Don’t Mind the Rain” is a track that celebrates the ability to stick with optimism even when things are getting darker than ever, and this March that might be just the message we need to hear on the radio more than ever before. This is an interesting time for singer/songwriters, and I think it goes without saying that Chris Timbers has had the attention of critics on his music for a good minute now. He’s got a lot he’s still developing, but by the looks of this new single I think he’s on the right path for sure.