A while back we featured Boston’s Small Talk on a NMF and we wanted to circle back around and feature these captivating musicians. The comparison that pops into my mind is the harmonic folk of someone like Good Old War with a little of the vibe that I feel with something else added. I haven’t quite put my finger on that other element, but join me in this exploration of their sound.
The track “Siren I” is full of gorgeous harmonies and a really killer back beat rhythm. The sound is deeply satisfying all the way through and makes me think they’d be a riot to enjoy live. The song is simultaneously hypnotic and energizing. Perhaps the “Siren” in the title is a reference to the Sirens of ancient Greek mythology, taking the adventurer off course. I’d love to know the story behind the track.
Speaking of adventure, the second track on their account is literally “Adventure Song.” The harmonies aren’t quite as tight on this one, but the kernal of the sound is certainly still there. The blended high and low range voices dance beautifully together on this one. It has an element of pop folk to it. When the strings and piano set up the “ooh ahh” part on the chorus, there’s a tangible excitement built in the air.
Their track “Zelda” also brings an intriguing sound, using more electronic sounds than some of their other stuff. The atmospheric vibe is more Pink Floyd than modern folk music. That said, it’s really easy to listen to, especially as this sort of “floating through the universe” detached feeling to it. Maybe that’s just me, but it makes me feel lighter than air.
“Undercover (feat Chris Vu)” is the last track we’re going to feature here. Again with the layers of piano, vocals, and electronic sounds, it’s definitely a sound that wants to be part of the electro-meets-folk trend in music right now. It’s definitely the kind of music that’s about a feeling or mood more than about conveying a straightforward lyrical message. Whatever chill you pick up from this one, it’ll be from the vibrations of the strings. And that’s cool with us.
The overall sound and style of Small Talk literally STANDS OUT in this genre. That’s one of the things we try to explain to bands all the time. The Chainsmokers already exist; we don’t want to cover 200 copies of that sound. What Small Talk have accomplished here is the invention of something that is quite possibly brand new, bringing together influences as varied as classical piano, jazz, pop, and even a bit of folk. This amalgamation is exciting and definitely worth following as they put out new music.