Track Of The Day: Talking Violet – ‘Indigo’

Ontario four-piece Talking Violet have only released a couple of tracks so far in their career, with both taken from 2018 EP Round Dreams, but that has been enough for them to lodge firmly in our minds here at GIHE as purveyors of the dreamiest of dream pop sounds. For new single, ‘Indigo’, their first release for two years, the band have shown they’re not afraid to lean into the ethereal.

What’s most immediate on first listen is quite how much lead singer Jill Goyeau’s vocals are reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser: those stretched-out vowel sounds, weaving in and around the strummed guitar melodies of the song’s verses, before forming part of the swooping chorus are indicative of someone perfectly attuned to their craft. And what of that chorus; shoe-gaze guitars that creep in on the bridge suddenly and sonically drench the listener, as the rhythm section starts to flurry. Simultaneously controlled, impressionistic and emotional, it speaks to artists who perfectly grasp their chosen genre.  

The dreamy nature of the song is emphasised by Lourdes Lasala’s accompanying video, showing the band almost as a kind of Simpsons-esque family unit, all trying to squeeze on to the same couch, intercut with Jill, alone, singing the lyrics, or close-ups on the fish tank. It’s evocative of the escapism of youth, the closed in nature of the domestic milieu and, appropriately for the song’s title, it’s very purple. Given the band’s name, maybe there’s a theme there. With two more singles and an album promised for the rest of the year, it’ll be fascinating to see where on the rainbow Talking Violet turn up next.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Photo Credit: Lourdes R. Lasala

Guest Playlist: Temples Of Youth

Covid 19 and the necessary restrictions surrounding it have brought about a number of cancellations of music events, including what would have been Get In Her Ears’ very first festival. It would have taken place on Saturday, 18th July, and was set to be a pretty special day, filled with some of our favourite female and non binary artists. Fingers crossed we can finally make it happen next year.

One of the bands set to play was total faves Temples Of Youth. Captivating us with their hypnotic, musically rich neo-pop and majestic, emotion-strewn splendour, the Winchester duo have charmed us live at The Finsbury more than once and we were very much looking forward to hosting them again.

In the absence of our festival, and any gigs, at the moment, Jo from the band has put together a playlist of songs that have shaped her songwriting, and written a few words about the inspirations behind Temples Of Youth. Have a read, and listen, below!

Inspiration…

As I sit to write this a few days after my 30th birthday, I can’t quite get my head around the fact that Temples of Youth is already five years old. I don’t know where that time has gone – it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had.

So often in life, we are reaching for the next achievement, trying to make each one bigger and better than the last. I find this is so prevalent in the music industry, with something you worked so hard on becoming “irrelevant” so quickly. It’s a tough place to be – overcrowded, competitive and at times, disheartening. It is important to take a step back, and to reflect on what you have already achieved, and take note of its value.

Paul and I came together with a shared interest in starting something new, and whilst our influences have grown and changed, our ethic has stayed the same. We write for us, we play for us, and we hope that people will find something to connect with.  Paul is very driven by sound and the feel of a track, where as I find myself drawn to the lyrics and the vocal melody – so we make a good team.

Our inspirations are hard to pinpoint – from ’80s dream-pop, to grungier sounds and modern US indie bands, plus art and film soundtracks. To give you an idea, we’ve curated a playlist of some of the tracks that have shaped the way we write, and we hope you enjoy listening to it.

We’re currently working on recording our third EP remotely, and I think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far. We always hope these things won’t be released to ‘disappear’; forgetting that they can’t.

Listen to Temples Of Youth’s playlist below, and also make sure you check out their spellbinding latest single ‘Silver Cross‘ now. 

FIVE FAVOURITES: TWEN

Nashville-via-Boston duo Twen are gearing up to support Seattle rockers TacoCat tomorrow night at Hackney’s Moth Club (29th Aug), and we’re convinced their celestial, angular sounds will impress their London crowd. Comprised of Jane Fitzsimmons and Ian Jones, Twen came to life over the space of two years as the duo toured the Boston DIY punk scene. Now, they’re getting ready to share their debut album Awestruck, which is set for release on 20th September via Frenchkiss.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Jane to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to Twen’s track ‘Baptism’ at the end of this post.

1. Central Heating – Heatwave
This is a classic that has stayed with me since I was 14. Before streaming, I would check out CDs at the library and rip them into my iTunes library. I found Heatwave while trying to listen to every funk/disco band I could find (thinking I could somehow listen to the whole genre). This whole album has a playfulness that packs some serious joy. The title track is the star of the show; the vocals are so strangely melodic but carry major rhythmic weight. I just love the concept of making people groove out with a vocal melody rather than the beat. Also the most silly and beautiful intro and outro I have yet encountered. James Guthrie (of Pink Floyd The Wall fame) produced this album, which I don’t really care about but something to note.

2. Bibio – À tout à l’heure 
I put this song on a mixed CD I made for Ian when we were sophomores in college. We would make so many mixes for each other, a different type of language than our early awkward convos. I would meticulously decorate them with sharpies and would spend hours deciding how to make the perfect “flow”. This was a song I found out he loved too, and he even knew how to play them to my amazement. The beyond beautiful and intricate finger-picking is so delicate but this song is a BANGER. The beat and funky bass line pair perfect with the acoustic layers and nonsensical lyrics (“À tout à l’heure”, French for “see you later”). There is such emotional and hypnotic value to this song, without making logical sense of it. Bibio still and always will have the best production sounds on the block, mixing analog and digital to make more of a sound tapestry than just a mere song.

3. Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Los Vegas
I found out about Cocteau Twins through my friend Matt, who DJ’d a college radio show called “Folk U” with me for two years. We had inherited the show and both slowly started to move out of the genre till Death Grips was playing. He played ‘Cherry-colored Funk’ and I nearly lost my damn mind, I had never heard anything so perfect. I read once that Elizabeth Fraser’s voice was ‘the voice of God’ and I don’t dispute it. Her ingenious melodies put me in a trance and make me feel like I’m understanding something outside words. Also, I have sweet memories with this album since it was one of the few albums I brought with me on an iPod on a trip to Iceland. I had gone by myself after college to camp 10 days in June when it’s daylight 22 hours a day (the only way I felt safe to camp by myself). I brought an old ass iPod that only had room for a few albums and this one of them. So, I listened the shit out of it while looking at the insane Icelandic landscape and I still love it.

4. Lijadu Sisters – Horizon Unlimited 
I had first heard the Lijadu sisters while working in a vegetarian restaurant in St. Louis, where I’m from. I had just moved back home for a quick quarter-life crisis. The owner and chef, Bay would sometimes make the playlists for the restaurant and loved blasting Lijadu Sisters. Being surrounded by an inspiring woman with a fountain of culinary creativity and listening to this album most days made a hard time a little less unbearable. The power of music. The beats and melodic riffs will make any day great and the two sisters feel exponentially BIG singing in unison. I really enjoy listening to music in different languages, it makes me notice the melodies better and the variety of vocal sounds possible that aren’t even used in English.

5. Mercyful Fate – Melissa 
I’m not super metal literate, but Mercyful Fate is THE metal band in my little world. On a tour probably a year ago (I only remember it was cold outside, they all start to blend together) a sound guy played this in the venue after the lights went on, probably to make everyone leave. A classic move. It made me want to STAY and to find out everything. Better known as King Diamond, this was his first band and Melissa is their first album. The vocal range is inhuman and the diversity of sounds that merely one person can make is an inspiration. Also I was raised Catholic, so hearing about covens and satanic rituals brings me a twisted joy.

Thanks to Jane for sharing their five favourites with us! Follow TWEN on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Alexa Viscius

FIVE FAVOURITES: Tallies

Toronto-based four piece Tallies have announced their self-titled debut album will be released on January 11th 2019 via Fear Of Missing Out Records. The band have shared the lead single from the record ‘Beat the Heart’ online – and it’s a dreamy slice of catchy indie-pop.

We caught up with band members Sarah & Dylan to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting technique. Check out their responses below…

1. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
I heard The Smith’s a few years ago, for the first time at this cafe that I used to work at. It was a sound that was very new to me, and I can only describe it as “the sound that I was looking for”. When I heard Jonny Marr’s guitar playing, I knew that was the sound I wanted to play. There is a 60’s influence in their songwriting which I really appreciate and love the humourous lyrics. The Queen is Dead has a great contrast between harsh lyrics & beautiful melodies. The sample at the beginning of the album sets this odd mood followed by a eerie whistle before the floor tom starts the rhythm. The build up gets me really pumped up. (Dylan)

2. Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas 
When listening to Cocteau Twins, they make you feel like you’re spinning in a room full of dancing light and feeling light-shadows on your skin, without getting dizzy. They have mastered a sound of constant motion that stands still. The production on this record has incredible depth, while having complete focus. It’s surprising how little synths are used on this record that’s so full of dreamy textures. The reverb delays, and chorus used on the guitars makes them sound like completely different instruments and is so intriguing. We first heard Heaven or Las Vegas from friends of ours a couple years ago and haven’t stopped playing it since. (Sarah & Dylan)

3. Aztec Camera – High Land, Hard Rain 
When I came across this album, it sounded so familiar, like it was already a great influence on me. Realizing after talking to my dad, that he used to play this album around the house all the time when I was growing up. That explains the familiarity. He gave me his vinyl form the 80’s to add to my collection which I listen to all the time. I play “Oblivious” at every party I go to. There is no one else that can pull off holding one note for that long in a guitar solo, making for the best air-guitar performance. The instrumentation on this record has a Latin vibe that I really like and is mainly acoustic-guitar driven. (Dylan)

4. The Sundays – Reading, Writing & Arithmetic
The sounds created on this album are just heavenly and so easy to listen to. The melodies are unique and graceful. I first heard The Sundays while watching the 90’s flick, “Fear” with young Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon. I fell in-love with the crystal sounding jangly guitars and Harriet Wheeler’s voice instantly. The songwriting reminds me of the soft essence and the fragilty of a butterfly. Wheeler’s heartfelt sharing of personal feelings makes me feel like she’s in the room reading from her diary. Reminding us that we’re not alone in sinking emotions. (Sarah)

5. Air – Moon Safari 
I have this album on repeat constantly. It’s the perfect background music to any setting. Each song has so much depth and the lyrics are always stunning. I am quite the late-bloomer on this band. I just heard them for the first time this year after Stephen (bass) bought a bundle of thrift store CD’s to play in our new van. I’ll never forget the first time listening, how each song shocked me, “Woah, there’s so many instruments on this track.” “How did they do that?” I knew that this record was going to be inspiring just 30 seconds in. I want to make music like Air, music that makes your emotions tingle and spiral in so many directions, yet sounding so chill and simple at the same time. (Sarah)

Follow Tallies on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Alex Gray

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut