Track By Track: talker – ‘Horror Films’

An ethereal breeze drifts through the air. The night stillness feels familiar. In the distance is a crowd of lights to avoid. There is barely ever a sense of direction when taking a walk at this time. The left, right, left, right movement becomes hypnotic to the point of meditation. Such is the mood of the Ep Horror Films by talker. The collective breaths of music become their own push and sway in your ears. “Changes” gently pulls in listener. Maybe to the lights. Maybe to the darkness. It floats in between but fits both with dynamic swells and a promise of serenity either way. The title track offers more sound with an ingenious play of vocals and guitars. “Intimidated” ruptures with urgency, reminding you about a purpose to this entire evening.

New Noise Magazine is pleased to bring an in depth look to Horror Films by talker. The atmospheric release is bound to find a spot in your head, following the pulse of life into the heart. It’s dark, symphonic and full of surprises.

First EPs are such a weird, beautiful experimentation. A lot of these songs I wrote before I knew I was making a record. And a lot of them I wrote before I really knew what I wanted to do sonically. It all came together organically and honestly. My next record will still be super honest, but there’s a beautiful innocence to making that first record before you even know what you’re doing. I’ve already changed a lot since writing this record, even though it just came out, and it’s always going to represent a really special era in my life. So here’s a little about each song.

Purchase Horror Films here

Changes:
This was actually the first song written on the record, before I even had a concept of what talker would be. My dear friend and close collaborator Dan Sadin and I had quite literally just met – we had maybe hung out once before this and decided our musical tastes were similar enough to write this song. But it started out so different from what the song is now. Originally, it was written from the perspective of a relationship falling apart because both people are going through changes on their own and growing apart. Neither of us were going through that exact scenario at the time – it was more of a, “hey let’s just write a song based on an idea and see what happens.” The production was very different, and we ended up working together a ton but as touring members for another band.

A full year or two later, when I had started to form the vision of talker, we revisited the song in a new light and I realized what the song truly meant to me. A much more accurate portrayal of my life at the time, I reworked the idea of going through changes, and wrote it from a perspective of feeling like I was stuck, continuing bad habits, wanting something different, but being held back by my own insecurities. Suddenly, everything clicked. It became a much darker song, but it came from a place of truth.

Horror Films:
This is one of my favorite songs of mine because it’s just very me. I often have a hard time expressing my feelings, and I wanted to write a song that was able to share how I felt, while also showing how much trouble I have with it. This is essentially a love song in disguise. When my co-write April Bender and I wrote this one, I was at a point in a fairly new relationship where I was ready to go further. I wanted to get past the pleasantries and small talk and was ready to dive a little deeper emotionally. What better way to get to know someone than to know what terrifies them?

Collateral Damage:
My anthem. My big ol’ eff you song. This was the first song I wrote where I truly felt like talker. The first song where I was like, YES. This is the sound. This is the vibe. This is it. I did this one with April as well, and I think we literally wrote it in like two hours. I had so much pent up anger and was just ready to let it out. It was the type of song where after writing it I just knew that it was special, and I really didn’t have to make many edits to it. It was just so honest and felt like the truth pouring out of me. It was a cathartic release that I had needed for a really, really long time.

Passive:
This was another song that was written really early on, before I had any idea what sound my artistry would ultimately take. I wrote it about two years ago, and it took a while to really get it right – both lyrically and in production. It was so vulnerable and I needed to take time with it to make sure it was true to me, and that whoever produced it could understand the place it was written from. My producer on this one, Phil Simmonds, really got it. When we were working on the song, we would just sit and talk at length about our respective issues with anxiety and depression, and would check in with each other to see how we were doing. It was a really special time, and it really helped me put all of my emotion into the recording. Which was really nice, because for me, the song is about feeling empty and like you don’t have anything left to give – and you can’t figure out how to get any of it back either. I finally felt like I was feeling something again with this song.

Intimidated:
This is my favorite one. This is the song that I want people to remember from this record. I wrote it by myself in my room. I was feeling……very overwhelmed. I tend to make huge issues out of little things, and I also tend to not be very kind to myself sometimes. It’s a habit I’ve been trying to break, and I think I’m getting there. But in this specific scenario, I was in a new relationship that was going quite well. But I would overanalyze and scrutinize every little thing I did – and everything the other person did as well. I like to think I’ve moved past that, and for the most part I have.

But this was a really special song for me, because I was finally able to express this complex emotion. Nothing was wrong, and yet everything was wrong. Isn’t that how it goes? There’s that saying “we accept the love we think we deserve,” and this song was a prime example of me not accepting what was mine to take – and what was freely being given to me. All I had to do was say yes. When I played it for my producer Dan, I was just showing him the song because I liked it. But he saw something special in it and was like “we have to record this.” And I’m so glad we did, because I love it and I’ve finally pulled myself out of that mindset, so it feels good to tie that song neatly in a bow and keep it in my past.

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