The Talkies, the highly anticipated second album from Irish 4-piece Girl Band comes to us via RoughTrade Records on the 27th of September 2019. With almost a four-year gap between their first album Holding Hands with Jamie and The Talkies we weren’t sure what to expect. In all honesty, we weren’t sure whether they could create something better than their previous releases… but they did.
The Talkies experiments with sound in a way that is reminiscent of Jean Micheal Jarr, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and other artists who were ahead of their time; Girl Band have established themselves as a band who aren’t afraid to deconstruct conceptions and push boundaries.
They combine their signature heavy, intense and raw sound with more experimental elements and lyrics are used as bits of sound rather than as language to impart information, again playing on the idea of the phenomenon that is ‘sound’. ‘Going Norway,’ the second song on the album, uses the repetition of known colloquialisms to manipulate our understanding of language and reconfigure it as a sonic element.
It is this communication between the band and the listener that allows a sensory rather than cognitive and meaning behind the songs and leaves them open to personal interpretation. They don’t lay everything bare on this record but leave the album to speak for itself, in whatever language you’re looking for.
This album is as close to a living organism as music can be. Each time we listened to it, new sounds and elements were revealed to us. The songs can be taken as singular pieces of music, or as integral parts of listening to ‘The Talkies’ holistically. Boundaries are pushed throughout the entire album as it crescendos to climax and then drops off again, teasing us in a way that leaves us wanting more while also being fully satisfied, like the cheeseboard at the end of a meal. The album is full of juxtapositions, whether it be sonically, lyrically, or simply in the way it leaves you feeling when you are listening to it. Conflicted.
With The Talkies, Girl Band has created something unique in a world where new ideas are few and far between. The Talkies is a triumphant and incendiary return from an exceptional band which leaves us wondering what will come next, and, perhaps more importantly, why it’s taken so long to come back.