Hailing from Perth, NEW TALK are not newcomers to the scene, but back with a fresh new identity (formerly Rag N’ Bone). NEW TALK captures your attention the striking lyricism and spectacularly haunting composition that was adored by fans within their earlier projects. Their newly released sophomore album Time and Memory is laced with integrity and creativity, amidst their shifting identity. Using their music to focus the spotlight on common issues such as patriarchal injustice, toxic masculinity, and contemporary Australian issues, NEW TALK also shed light on much needed conversations within the Australian music scene.
The album opens with ‘Red Tuesday’- an ominous track that asserts a haunting tone that continues to linger within the tracks to follow. The crisp echoes initiated by the isolated vocals transport you into an abyss - which really distills the essence of the first part of the record. Constantly in a state of flux between thin and layered instrumentals, ‘Red Tuesday’ is a confusing track in all the best ways- you never know what is coming next. Culminating to a big finale, its a head-first dive into Time and Memory.
‘A Good Man Is Hard To Find’ plunges the listener further into the scape of the album with the same grungy, haunting features. Prominent drums, in particular, create a solid foundation for the track- one that is smooth and certain. With this NEW TALK presents a duality- from a riveting punk track, to a smooth easy listener.
‘Filmer’s Clay’ takes a similar vein, and eases the listener into a gradual ballad-like closer. As we reach further into the tracks, the album is increasingly soul-stirring. We can imagine the feelings this album would conjure when being played in a chapel or upon a cloudy night in the dark. It seems almost too personal and beyond our own to be listening.
Speaking of haunting sounds, the following is ‘Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You’. Picking up the pace, this track introduces a more prominent reliance upon instrumentals from the start. Both a layered and buffed track, ‘The Past Comes Back To Haunt You’ offers a different take to what we have been subjected to previously, but at the same time, maintains the key elements that have made this body of work so unique. However, much like its counterparts, this track builds up to let it all out toward the end. A skilled utilisation from the band ensures these tracks remain intriguing, and build to something much larger than the progression to the next song, but the finalisation of their own individual stories.
‘Cast Out’ opens with a dramatic sequence that certainly recaptures the attention after meeting the halfway point of the album! Continuing in its outlier format, we see NEW TALK delve into a stronger and heavier instrumental piece- one submerged in grunge and post-punk nostalgia. This presents a new angle for the band within this body of work, and develops a blossoming potential for a track defined by its heavy nature to occur. The composition of ‘Cast Out’ is enjoyably frustrating as it keeps reaching climatic points only to soften back down before reaching its peak. As a listener, it created a listening experience that was not only unique and unpredictable but created a track that is true in its own identity, abandoning the structures left before it.
Track six is the alluring ‘Amytis’. This track provides a clearer view of a lighter and deeper vocal performance juxtaposing one another to create a warp of messages and meanings. This dual-natured vocal performance offers something new to the table, and is a notable feature within this track as it brings fresh perspective- to both the song and the audience. ‘The Truth Does Not Change’ follows this dynamic track, and brings with it a faster tempo and anxious beat. This song grabs you by the ears and possesses you to feel in the same racing heartbeat that the song follows- a true token of NEW TALK’s craftspersonship. The ability to capture the song and shift it into a feeling that will resonate through the audience upon their listen makes this track a sure standout within ‘Time and Memory’.
Closing the album is ‘Frida’. Diverting from the normally chaotic closer most albums conclude with, I feel NEW TALK takes a more relaxed approach, creating a song intertwined with familiar elements we have seen from the previous tracks to create a song that closes the story, rather than merely closing the album. In a powerful six minutes, the band bears their emotions, soul, and skill to conclude the haunting and intriguing journey that was ‘Time and Memory’.
In Time and Memory, NEW TALK has mastered the feelings of the unknown , creating a soul-shattering, spine-tingling album that truly captures its essence like no other. Its quite a unique listening experience, and transports you into a world that is hauntingly beautiful. Truly, NEW TALK is back with a vengeance, and more importantly, the hopes to transport and transform their listener, one song at a time.