Today, London-based four piece Talk Show shared “Leather,” the latest single from their forthcoming EP Touch The Ground, out on September 23 by Missing Piece Records. Produced by Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) and Al Doyle (LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip) in their Hackney studio, the six-track collection is the sound of a band who have stopped, re-evaluated, and emerged as one of the most exciting and unique prospects around. To accompany the single release, the band have also released a music video which was directed by Ashley Rommelrath (@asherlloyd). Pre-save the EP HERE
“Leather” was the last song they wrote and what the band describe as the EP’s “dark horse,” originally intended to be two tracks but became one feral, slavering beast – Chloe writing the drum pattern was what formed the foundation of their new direction, brimming with confidence.
Stream/purchase “Leather” HERE
“Chloe took the lead on this one bringing a big breakbeat style drum part, and we just ran with it,” states frontman Harrison Swann. “Vocally it felt natural to sit back and let the other parts sit more at the front. With the sharp guitar and heavy bass lines, we didn’t wanna compete with each other, so it helped having small repeating phrases, fitting in the gaps. We were trying to build an atmosphere, something dynamic, rather than tell a story. We wanted something that had a bit of bite to it, that was really gonna show what we’d actually been listening to for inspiration. It’s hands down our favourite to play from the EP, and it just feels different. It feels like it really comes alive when we perform it. Whether that’s been at festivals, or small cap venues. I love it.”
“Leather” follows previous single “Cold House,” a raucous, visceral track with an irresistible, dance heavy beat inspired by The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers.” It was praised by DIY Magazine, BrooklynVegan, Dork, Clash, and more including We All Want Someone To Shout For who called it, “a throbbing funkier version of their brand of observational post-punk… This one has a steady bass groove that gives the track a bigger dance-punk element… Think The Rapture combined with Viagra Boys and Shame.”
Just before Christmas 2021, Talk Show played a midnight festival gig in Amsterdam to a crowd who didn’t know their music and had no idea who they were. “I was expecting people to be there scratching their chins,” says Harrison, “but from the very first note we hit it just went berserk. I was like, ‘oh shit, this is why I do this, this is it.’”
After two years of stop-start frustration thanks to Coronavirus (the first lockdown began the same week they released their debut EP, These People, in 2020), the wild audience response was a euphoric lift for the band. “It was hard to keep motivation up and keep morale high” Harrison reflects, “it was fucking tough.” Yet canceled gigs led to more time for Talk Show to get into the studio, to become ever more focussed, to develop what Harrison describes as their “obsession” with getting it right. “That’s the only thing that could get us through”.
Talk Show made the radical decision to scrap the music they’d already spent a year writing and take a new direction. The band expanded their musical horizons and inspirations beyond the new wave and post punk that had shaped the tracks on These People, delving into old soul records, electronic music, DJ sets on Boiler Room, MF Doom, the Beastie Boys and perhaps most importantly, the sort of ‘90s dance music made by the Chemical Brothers and Underworld.
The band took the demos of their new material into the Hackney studio of Joe Goddard and Al Doyle of Hot Chip, located in a former slaughterhouse. It was an open-minded collaboration; the band excited by working with electronic music legends, and wanting to be encouraged to push their sonic boundaries. “They want to have fresh takes and fresh ideas,” says Chloe, “I don’t know if before we’d necessarily have done that.” Once the core tracks were down, George explains, they thought “sick, let’s get all of the toys out, let’s really try some stuff out – the outro track was a 15-minute ambient jam, they turned the lights out, we were all in different rooms with different stuff. We had so much fun making that.”
The band see Touch The Ground as a celebration of their decisions to be bold: “We thought if we scrap the old stuff, the new stuff better be fucking good otherwise we’re fucked,” Harrison says. ”On the final day I remember walking out and thinking that was the most fun I’ve ever had, and we’ve absolutely made the right decision and this is the direction we’re going in. This is it now, this is where the train is heading and we’re not stopping.” Now the plan is to continue where they left off from the Hot Chip sessions, pushing for harder, louder, more industrial and dance floor-focussed music. “That’s why it’s called Touch The Ground. I wanted it to be like when a sprinter is crouching and ready to start a race,” Harrison says, “it’s the start of something – rooted, but looking upwards”.
Talk Show have a slew of upcoming festival dates this summer across Europe. See full list of shows below.
Touch the Ground will be released on September 23, 2022 via Missing Piece Records. Pre-save the EP HERE