‘With psychedelic influences and endless resurgences of power, there really is a lot to shout about!’
Intro to Talkboy
Featuring no fewer than six members, Talkboy – comprised of Katie Heap, Calum Juniper, Tim Malkin, Charlotte Jones, Tom Sargeant and Jake Greenway – produce a sound that seamlessly blends a multitude of influences and atmospheres. Already gaining high praise for their releases to date and supporting Another Sky and The Academic, the next few weeks see them play the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, O2 Academy Islington for The September Session and join The Howl & The Hum on eight of their UK tour dates. With gigs like this on the horizon, this Leeds based band are certainly giving the industry a lot to discuss. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Talkboy
Swirling around our heads, a driving combination of thumping drums, power-filled guitar and soaring psychedelic influences introduce us to Talkboy’s latest offering. It sounds curious. It sounds enticing. And it sounds incredible. However, joined by Katie’s intoxicating vocals, each of these sensations get immediately stronger and sliding up to the first true tone, we are fully drawn into the sound.
Changing to be much sparser than the opening, the textural elements within the verse become less psychedelic and more separated. Formed of selective rhythmic drumming patterns and palm-muted guitar chords, it’s quite a difference to what has just been. But, in these surroundings we get to fully appreciate Katie’s tone. Full of gentle melisma and decorated with inflections, it never really settles and as a result, it perfectly emulates the pitch-bending within the introduction.
Bringing contrast in both instrumental and vocal areas, on arriving at the pre-chorus, Calum’s vocal gains prominence and provides soft harmonies to the main melody. Sitting above the sparser sound, the focus is very much here. This said, with the guitar shifting from chords to arpeggiated melodic fragments, there is an abundance of interest. Cutting through amazingly well, this subtle change guides us wonderfully to the chorus where an instant injection of instrumental riffs occurs.
Showcasing how having six different elements going on at once can truly work, harmonic vocals, interweaving guitars and cymbal centred drums all have their place. Lyrically, the focus turns to the title – ‘Oh ain’t it funny how it all works out’ – and settling down, becomes an immediate earworm. Meanwhile, the accompaniment offers just the right balance of raucous yet controlled musicality meaning that it achieves a rare feat: A chorus that delivers so much that you hear something new each and every time.
Taking us seamlessly out of the chorus, the textural elements continue in much the same way as just now and remain for the following verse. This time though, it is Calum’s turn to deliver the lyricism and with a hint of gravel, it perfectly projects above everything else. Likewise, with the increasingly hectic nature of the resurging chorus, there really is ‘a lot to shout about.’ However, with the ensuing grit-filled guitar riffs leading to a completely contrasting sound, this is also the case when there isn’t as much going on.
Taking an unexpected turn, the drama-fuelled polyphony is cast aside and becomes calmer, sparser and much more delicate. Completely gone is the heaviness. As is the power. But what a wonderful sound is revealed. Featuring soft, rhythmical tom-toms, ringing strums, picked bass and recurring, half-whispered vocals it’s actually quite beautiful. But as beautiful as it is, the return of Talkboy’s more powerful musicality is on the horizon.
Growing in sound, the recurring line of ‘For now, I’ll be around for you’ becomes increasingly anticipation filled and climaxing with ‘to lend my ear’ the full resurgence makes it’s way to the fore. And make it’s way it does. Bringing the most dominating version of the chorus, Katie and Calum’s vocals soar above the chaotic, yet carefully controlled musicality proving that it really does all work out.