I was sat writing about the EP ‘These People’ from a bench in a deserted park on a sunny day in the midst of social isolation. The sorta thing that lends itself more to Leonard Cohen, rather than the young, energetic 4-piece from South London, Talk Show.
I wrote about three words before I had to walk home with purple hands; blue skies can be deceiving.
If you weren’t paying attention to what was playing through your speakers before, Stress, their title track, will change that. One of those rare tracks that makes you smile internally, but one of the mischievous smiles, like you could take on the world.
Having an immediate pleasure-inducing rhythm and sound is only the first hurdle though. And with high pitched guitar riffs that are often the forewarning of adolescent rage with an emotionless rant of words, it was a real test. They passed – easily.
I’ve also realised that I stroke my beard stupidly fast when I hear a good song. Like a dog seeing her owner after a week apart.
“If you were to kiss this and miss, would your lips still hiss and quiver like an unfolded flower?” – I felt that one.
Harrison Swann’s rumbling vocals surf atop the menacing bass that leads the first verse. You feel your face relax when the spacey guitar enters in the second verse opening up the whole song. It assembles intricate patterns to sew a beautiful build-up that makes you want to do whatever you’re not doing right now – which is probably travelling or lying in bed. No, this is more a time to unleash that spark of motivation and do something weird.
Atomica starts with a curious bass riff, made even more mysterious by the syncopated drums it melds into a track that has your body in some omnidirectional groove. Like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man – but with more pattern.
I must say, the band work really well together, especially Chloe MacGregor (percussion) and George Sullivan (bass). They form a seemingly disarranged set of fast-paced sounds into a state altering relatable escape – and that’s what music should be. You find yourself daydreaming, thinking or replaying memories. And then it’s over… so you play it again.
Banshee is a perfect illustration of the group’s ranging abilities. Bringing down the tempo is a risky and difficult trick in a four-track EP, but it fits it perfectly.
It’s Pixies with the percussion on acid. The heavily reverbed, fuzzy guitars paint an optimism that clears your mind so much so, that you find you’ve been staring out the window of the bus without blinking.
Swann’s strained vocals over the uplifting instruments in the chorus make a banshee sound like a good thing. This juxtaposed approach is prevalent throughout These People and is what fills you with feelings of enthusiasm and anger at the same time.
Petrolhead is a menacing sting of their distinctive tone. The sound that’ll instantly prick your ears when they’re played in the pub and you find yourself bragging to your mates about ‘how you know this one’.
They hold nothing back in this one. “The expert of knowing ale was cheaper than telling his kids that he loved them” – fuck me.
Overall, These People is a bloody good debut EP. We have so much new music at our disposal these days that finding a decent new band can be tiring. When you come across a truly good group like Talk Show, you will never forget the first listen you had, but you’ll also never have the same again – and that’s why you’ll forever like them. Like how 0.2 seconds of eye contact with someone you walk past on the street can fill your day with thoughts.
Talk Show have been that band. You’ll be complimented for liking this group, I know it. You can even try me. I’ll give you one Freddo (no cash alternative) if you share them and someone says they’re bad.
I am personally telling you, with more force than Boris Johnson enforcing quarantine, to stream/buy this EP.
They get the official No Taste stamp of approval because that is a thing now. I’ll let them decide whether that’s bad or not.
Talk Show’s debut EP “These People” is out March 27 via Council Records
Stream it here.