The songs on Horror Films see talker openly revealing the scratch marks on her heart that have yet to turn to scars.
22 February 2019
Talker is the stage name of LA-based Celeste Taucher. After cutting her teeth playing and recording with the electropop band Frenship, she realized that she needed to take the time to understand herself as a musician better. That time was well spent as it has resulted in her brilliant debut EP, Horror Films - an EP that details, often painfully, that period of self-analysis and discovery.
Over five dynamic, hook-filled '90s influenced alt-rock songs imbued with a keen pop sensibility talker excavates deep down into her psyche. These are songs as personal therapy as she slowly untangles the knotty mess of wires in her head, trying to find some sense of order but often coming up short.
"Changes" opens with glittering keyboard notes that tumble out of the gloom before being joined by simple piano chords and talker's stunningly clear voice that glides and skates around the music. On "Changes" she lays herself almost uncomfortable bare as she tries to comprehend why her well-intentioned attempts at making changes in her life only serve to make things worse.
On the title track, talker steadies herself for a leap into the unknown as she prepares to let someone into her head for the first time and implores the other person to do the same ("Show me your haunted side / And I'll show you mine"). With clean, echoing arpeggios and a sing-song chorus it starts as a claustrophobic mid-tempo song before opening up with stabs of distorted guitar, eventually shifting into a powerful alt-rock song.
"Collateral Damage", opens with a chugging acoustic guitar line that becomes more darker and unsettled as the guitars morph with thick, edgy keyboard chords driven by the resounding, steady thump of drums. However, again it is talker's vocals that elevate the song to somewhere truly special. There are majesty and clarity to her voice with every sharp, syllable hitting the mark like consistent pinpricks. Lyrically, the song is as much about personal catharsis and release as she gives her first-hand account of an emotionally abusive pseudo-relationship.
"Passive" is a skeletal ballad with swelling organ chords and reverberating low guitar notes that ripple into the distance. It's the perfect frame for talker's vocals as she agonizes over her passivity when breaking someone's heart. She sounds genuinely frustrated by her emotional paralysis to the situation and her ability to disassociate herself from her actions. The final song, "Intimidated" starts as a fireside acoustic strummer with a chorus that catches you in it's warming embrace before exploding into a stunning '90s alt-rock-influenced rocker.
The songs on Horror Films see talker openly revealing the scratch marks on her heart that have yet to turn to scars. By holding her insecurities up for everyone to see, the songs are instantly relatable and liberating. She shines a light on the hidden bruises that make us who we are, and that gives us strength and instills resilience. More exceptionally she manages to articulates these things on five hook-filled pop-rock songs that stay with you long after the music has faded.