24 July 2011

Talk - waltz for feebee (2010, Dead Funny / YCT)

Started as a trio in March 2009 and expanded six months later to a five piece, Talk is a band from the south part of Japan, from Kumamoto.

"Waltz for Feebee" is their first release, six songs between dreampop and post-rock, with often more emotional shoegaze accents. 

They might not be the most original formation of the genre but their music owns a strange easiness which tend to put a smile on your face while listening, and each of their songs has a got a kind of sparkle. 

It' not really easy to categorize them, maybe because of the Japanese vocals but they are somewhere between Pia Fraus and Mineral, developing obvious melancholic instrumental atmospheres which may recall L'Altra, Early Day Miners, American Football or early Gregor Samsa, but mixing these also with a more melodic tempo. Their sound is warm, often with the heart on sleeve, adolescent and green too, very spontaneous and without a trace of irony.

The best way to enter this EP is with the last and sixth track: "Pass", a magnificent melancholic and emotional instrumental track following both slowcore and post-rock archetypes but with an unusual strong freshness, an a final result more akin to Carissa's Wierd typical swirls or to Mineral's EndSerenading stormy climates than to your usual post-rock band. A recent point of comparison would be also Mountains For Clouds, as both bands have this inspiring and breathy quality and seem to enjoy every second of their compositions, making these blooming, achieving something greater than them, overpassing their own ingredients. Somewhat tt is not supposed to be as good, but it is so overwhelmingly positive, sensitive that you surrender yourself. A live rendition of the song on youtube only make it more convincing and impressive.

The fifth track, "Nowhere" reproduces the miracle of "Pass" and make you realize that one of the assets of Talk is their slowness, as each piano or guitar note can have it's greatest impact here and slowly dies before the next one appears.

"Glide" is a dreampop song with vaporous vocals showing a softer and more sentimental side of Talk, highly pleasant but relatively soft and unoffensive. It's when they play around slowness and tension that their gentle side is transformed into something more valuable, like on the melancholic instrumental "Farewell".

"Sundae Flip" follows different patterns, much more melodic and built around vocals, definitely indiepop and sugary during the first part, and deliciously windy and dynamic next, heading towards a Pia Fraus type of scenario, for the best.

It's not surprising that "Waltz for Feebee" is the title track of this debut EP as it it where they mix their melodic and band dynamic sides, for an emotional and energetic result which tends to have a not so pleasant saturating effect.

I prefer their instrumental compositions because they are more tense and minimalist, better balanced and also because, when they use vocals they tend to give it too much space to their own detriment. But I do think vocals are important for them but just with more restraint, more sparse and introspective. Once that said, it's a pretty nice, convincing and promising debut EP.


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