Talkdemonic’s music has been refined since the duo’s 2004 debut Mutiny Sunshine and more than ever it reminds me of film soundtrack music. Unfortunately, the term “cinematic” and the ubiquitous description of instrumental music as “a soundtrack for an imaginary film” are so overused that they have become almost as meaningless as the term “minimal”. All this to say, despite its dynamic mixture of strings and electronics, since Ruins doesn’t come with a film, it almost seems to have an ingredient missing.
Although I prefer the rougher edges of earlier efforts, this is Talkdemonic’s best mixed and most expansive record to date, with a wide-ranging degree of loudness and a balance between the calmness and sensuality suggested by Lisa Molinaro’s cello and viola and Kevin O’Connor’s more agitated, percussive elements. There is a consistently propulsive quality that is mirrored by a recent tour schedule running, in 13 days, through Utah, Colorado, Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, and Washington. It’s easy to speculate that the album would sound better played in a vehicle while driving from city to city, rather than in the stationary venues in which the group performed.