This is Talk Less, Say More’s most focussed, emotionally literate and complex work to date, putting personal, honest reflection into an ingenuous and eclectic hypermodern setting. Pushing his distinctive vocal to the front and singing on every track for the first time, the record unblinkingly explores love’s sunlit glories as well as the strange chasms opened when it departs.
The Battle of Borodino updates the neon lights of 80s electropop with wide-eyed Italo synths, fuzzy guitar riffs and vocoders. Up close, Far Away combines deft lyricism and folk warmth with relentless thud of the Berlin techno minimalism, in one moment laying an explosion of shuddering breaks beautifully alongside looping guitars. Smeared impressionistic cello in Sensations Spring meld seamlessly with a Timbaland bassline, halting IDM drums and contemplation of the passing of things. Perhaps a hinge of the album, Roots Alive pushes Vangelis’ synthetic choirs over the snap and throb of a broken house beat, thrusting guitar chops over childhood recollection.
The closeness and beautiful restraint of All Dressed Up Like Love reads like a confessional – “I have been thinking about fear and the way it has of showing up around here/All dressed up like love”. Drawing the album to a close, Life In Cold Blood is a thrilling summation, shimmering bells trilling over a tender dub, a gorgeous conclusion to a gorgeous record. The yearning mantra “We’ll put our hoods up and walk in the rain” is perhaps a look to hope, maybe nothing more than a glance to acceptance, the open conclusion to so many unanswered questions.
For fans of Junior Boys, Subtle, The Knife, Timbaland as well as Leonard Cohen, the anarchist pop spirit of Giorgio Moroder. Minimal techno, pound shop electro.
- 1. The Battle of Borodino (3.33)
- 2. Up Close, Far Away (4.01)
- 3. Sensations Spring (3.05)
- 4. See You In The Morning (3.07)
- 5. A Song About a Dream About a Phonecall (2.19)
- 6. Roots Alive (3.27)
- 7. All Dressed Up Like Love (4.44)
- 8. Someone Else’s Summer (2.58)
- 9. Unfledged (1.12)
- 10. Pillowtalk (5.12)
- 11. Life In Cold Blood (4.16)