Tear Talk // Realise
Melancholy seems sewn into the consciousness of us British, from our artistic outlook to our sense of humour. After all, this is a country where major cultural reference points come in the form of Joy Division and The Office; both brilliant but unsettling portrayals of modern life. Add to that a current political spectrum that ranges from a wax-work re-imagining of Margaret Thatcher to a confused-looking Wallace and Gromit cartoon and a contrived, privileged racist attempting to appear down-to-earth and tolerant, and you can forgive Tear Talk for seeming slightly gloomy. Plus it’s always bloody cold.
Bearing that in mind, Tear Talk’s new EP RUINS seems fittingly downcast – realistic, even. Before its official release on the city’s newly minted War Room Records in December, though, they’ve unveiled first single ‘Realise’. Framed by haunting vocals that float above the track’s skeletal beats and gloaming guitar tones, it weaves the narrative of a relationship doomed to imminent failure. Front-man Josh Miller’s lyrics paint broad strokes of this nihilism, sitting somewhere between the wine-stained maudlin tones of Matt Berninger and Ian Curtis’ nonchalant, defeatist delivery.
Back in the recesses of 2012 I found myself enthusing about Tear Talk’s “raw talent” and “promise”; and in ‘Parallel’ you can hear much of that realised. Added to those swarming atmospheres of 2012 are incisive melodies that come from unexpected dark corners, which (according to Miller) is a result of the sage steering of Joe and Danny from By The Sea who produced the track. Under it all is the quietly blooming bedrock of synths that anchor the track, making ‘Realise’ as immersive as it is stark. That tradition of arresting melancholia definitely seems to be in steady hands.