Girl Band: The Talkies (Rough Trade) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, July 5th, 2020  

Girl Band

The Talkies

Rough Trade

Oct 17, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

This year has seen the spotlight shift from the glamor of New York and London to the backstreets of Dublin when it comes to new emerging talent. With Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital, The Claque, and Just Mustard all making serious headway internationally, it's been a busy few months for some of Ireland's finest musical ensembles.

However, it's probably fair to say Girl Band were already leading the charge, having released their debut album, Holding Hands With Jamie, four years ago. While initially formed at the turn of the decade, it wasn't until 2014 that early singles "Lawman" and "Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?" confused and confounded the hell out of anyone that heard them. They were part Einstürzende Neubauten, part Birthday Party, with a little bit of The Fall thrown in for good measure. All of which centered around wordsmith and vocalist Dara Kiely's distinctive lilt and turn of phrase over the most uncompromising arrangements heard since... well, since the aforementioned trio above.

It's taken four years to construct the follow-up, partly down to health issues within the band, partly down to the sonic perfectionists responsible for its creation. Recorded last November in a stately home on the outskirts of Dublin, those eerie surroundings manifesting itself within The Talkies' psyche.

As one would expect from a band who've never conformed to any genre-defined stereotype, The Talkies is a fascinating listen. If occasionally uneasy in parts, it's the sound of a band whose creative vision is as coruscating as ever. Unflinchingly stoic and resilient to the last, its 12 pieces are all carefully placed together consecutively like an ill-fitting jigsaw. It's a record that demands to be heard in its entirety, preferably in one sitting. Yet once digested, it never disappoints from thereon in. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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