Talkdemonic - Ruins
Photo: Ben Moon
Download the free track "Revival" now, compliments of Talkdemonic and Glacial Pace Recordings.
LP includes a digital download code for an MP3 version of the record for your convenience.
Kevin O’Connor began his pursuit in 2004 for new frontiers in percussion and analog sound. He was looking for something new in Dusty Italian Crumar synths and pristine Moogs, rickety Baldwins and warbly Wurlitzers, a pure-sounding Rhodes and a cranky old Korg. Sounds upon floating, gritty and gorgeous sounds, with a muscular backbone of beats alongside a brainy live drum kit. Talkdemonic was born. While Kevin was beating out a new path in the already innovative music community of Portland, his friend and violist Lisa Molinaro joined him to lend her string skills to further texturize Talkdemonic’s alluring sounds. The duo became unstoppable.
Fast forward seven years. Talkdemonic’s 2004 Mutiny Sunshine is now considered a downtempo classic amongst fans and their sophomore effort Beat Romantic thrust them into the indie spotlight. In 2008, Kevin and Lisa released Eyes At Half Mast, a union of haunting strings passages, toungue and groove beats and drums, and lush nostalgic synth layers that call to mind your personal soundtrack to some inner, secret and special moment of your life.
Ruins compilies everything they’ve learned and blasts it into the stratosphere. It’s as though you’ve watched this band mature throughout the arc of their discography, Ruins being the sophisticated culmination of a near-decade spent honing their craft. This newfound sense of maturity, never translates to apathy. It’s more like a refined, renewed sense of space and crescendo. It ebbs and flows with the touch of an ace producer. Lisa’s viola sounds like a childhood lullaby and a violent assault, sometimes simultaneously. Armed with a new arsenal of processing pedals at her feet, she’s pushing the melodic shape of these songs in wildly exciting new directions. The strings sound alternately improvised and painstakingly constructed.
Not only do Lisa’s textures make Ruins the most cohesive and exploratory Talkdemonic album yet, they provide Kevin with a canvas on which to splatter his synthesizers and drums. Kevin demonstrates an uncanny ability to expertly play every instrument without sounding like he knows how to expertly play every instrument. The song “Revival” showcases everything beautifully effective about Ruins. Acoustic guitar strums itself around rolling drums and growling, bending viola (or is that a trombone? a blender? a motorcycle?) adds to the tension and explodes into light halfway through. These moments fill this record. Eerie almost-human voices peeking through the cracks in “Cascading” to the tender soundscapes of col legno viola and deep toms in “Chimera”, to the screeching death-stomp of “Midnight Pass”, the tension/texture/release/euphoria ritual remains intact without ever sounding formulaic.
The beauty of Talkdemonic is that they can cradle you while wandering through the daring and beautiful Ruins, or they can just set you free.