This Friday, London’s Talk Show release debut EP ‘These People’. To loyal readers, this four-piece should be no strangers – last year we said that the band were bringing a “dark new wave” to the nation’s guitar scene and then they brought an adorable hound to the NME 100 2020 shoot; the pictures were decidedly not as dark and twisted as the tunes.
They’re back on track, thankfully. The band’s debut EP comes good on all the menacing hints shown in breakout single ‘Fast and Loud’ – it’s full of haunting vocals and razorsharp guitar parts, allowing their gothic influences shine through. With the release days away, the band go deep on the songs, albums (and paintings) that influenced them.
Siouxsie and The Banshees – ‘Juju’
It’s an incredible piece of work that is, quite rightly, credited as being one of the catalysts of the Goth. I can remember first listening to this album at 17 and having my perception totally changed, it changed how I thought alternative music could sound, and the atmosphere that guitars and a rhythm section could create. The guitars off this album were something that we regularly reference in our own work and have done from the very start of the band. That blend of jangle chorus, and razor sharp melodies – mental. Every teenager should listen ‘Arabian Knights’ or ‘Spellbound’, it’ll change your life.
John Cooper Clarke – ‘Kung Fu International’
Whilst true goths will be up in arms about me suggesting this is goth, i’m not arsed. Dr Cooper-Clarke has had a monumental impact on, not only the way I write, but also my perception and the tone you can adopt as a performer. Pieces like ‘Kung Fu International’ and ‘Evidently Chickentown’ are packed with bleak yet humorous observations of society. This approach is fundamental to Talk Show and this EP. JCC’s work is dark and twisted, yet retains it’s sense of absurdity and droll self-mockery. That’s important to remember for any writer. Not everyone has to be Al Capone’s death-stare.
LS Lowry’s People Standing About and The Lake, 1937
Again, another work that’s definitely stretched when described as goth, but I always remember being really grasped by Lowry’s work as a kid. It was approachable and un-intimidating, unlike a lot of art. It’s an honest and dark portrayals of industrial cities. Depictions of people getting about their daily lives within a metropolis. It’s engaging without being needy or desperate. As a Mancunian living in London, these Lowry paintings still resonate, and definitely influenced what I wanted to write about for this EP. Watching humanity fly past the window on a train is pretty stirring and poignant.
Echo & The Bunnymen – ‘Ocean Rain’
Ian McCulloch’s more romantic and lovelorn vocals, with lighter, more sentimental musical backing, hugely impacted our writing style in the very early stages of the band. We always aimed to display hints of romanticism and melody within our work, which would intersperse with more direct and combative material. ‘Ocean Rain’ and specifically tracks like ‘Seven Seas’ or ‘Silver’ perfectly display a more amorous and colourful approach to Goth, and highlighted where it could go. Not everything had to be dark, miserable, staring at the crows in the rain kinda stuff. The arrangement of how each instrument works together, or in reaction, to each other is incredible on this album as well. An absolute MUST listen.
Colin Stetson – ‘All This I Do For Glory’
Once I finally got over how terrifyingly beautiful Hereditary is, it took a few nights before I could turn the lights off, I got really into Colin Stetson who composed the equally amazing soundtrack. His music is amazing, and he’s a master of creating tension through extending the saxophone and using thundering repetitions. Even the sound of his finger-work becomes part of this mechanical onslaught of sound. Much like Hereditary, ATIDFG is creepy as heck, but it’s got this energy to it that just makes you wanna get up and dance.
Talk Show’s debut EP “These People” is out March 27 via Council Records