Talkboy release second EP and are Wrapped in Blue
Having met at Leeds College of Music, Talkboy have very quickly achieved what many longer-standing artists could not: curating their own unique, recognisable sound. Consisting of six members, the band formed in 2017, released their debut EP Over & Under in 2019, and are now following it up with their new EP, Wrapped in Blue. Made up of Katie Heap (vocals), Calum Juniper (vocals/guitar), Tim Malkin (guitar), Charlotte Jones (keyboard), Tom Sargent (bass), and Jake Greenway (drums), Talkboy are in for a great year, and this EP shows it.
From the first track on Over & Under, Talkboy debuted their unique and trademark style, largely coming from the combined vocals of Heap and Juniper. The two voices blend together effortlessly, and thankfully for our collective ears, this vocal arrangement is not left behind in Wrapped in Blue. Alongside this meshing of voices is everything you would want from an indie rock band: effortless vocals singing well-written lyrics, amazing instrumental breaks, and melodies that will stay in your head for weeks to come (I can confirm that I have already been through the chorus of ‘Stupid Luck’ about 20 times in my head throughout the course of writing this).
The band say that their inspirations consist of the likes of Alvvays, The Big Moon, The Beatles, and Fleetwood Mac, and this can definitely be heard throughout the EP (as well as hints of Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema Club, but that’s coming from me, not them). However, it would be wrong to assume that Talkboy have simply taken aspects of their inspirations and amalgamated them all into their sound. Instead, the band have created such a clear and unique sense of self, and their own original musicality is evident in each track.
One aspect of this EP that is particularly exciting is the change of pace that occurs in most of the tracks, excluding the final song, ‘Like A Lover Should’. Going from a fast-paced, ‘A-Punk’-esque tempo to a slower, calmer, and beautifully layered vocal arrangement in ‘Sky Is Falling’ in the blink of an eye could potentially be jarring, yet Talkboy manage to pull it off effortlessly, making this into one of the standout tracks on the EP. The instrumental breaks in their songs are great, too. The band builds up the songs really effectively, and this doesn’t stop after the drop into the instrumental. My favourite track, for this very reason, on the EP (though this was a difficult choice) is ‘What The Moon Was Like’. With the beautiful backing vocals continuing into the instrumental, and providing a great accompaniment to the excellent guitar solo, this song’s climax is truly something to behold, and can only be done justice if played at top volume on a nighttime drive.
Ending the EP with the more folky and beautifully understated ‘Like A Lover Should’ was a great choice by Talkboy. With simple yet heartbreaking lyrics (‘she’ll hurt you like a lover should my boy… but you’ll love her all the same’), the track shows that Talkboy have not only mastered the art of big, atmospheric arrangements, but can also pull off an acoustic and intimate track.
If you couldn’t already tell, I think this EP is really great. In fact, I’ve already pre-ordered the vinyl (which, by the way, they need 100 preorders to be able to press, so do me a favour and add your name to the list: https://qrates.com/projects/21833). So, if you want to be that annoying person who claims they knew a band before they became huge, you might want to jump on this bandwagon.
Words by Poppy Booth