South East London three-piece Talmont have been busy working on their first single of 2017 – ‘Wilt’ is released on the 14th April, welcoming a fusion of their signature jazz-style harmonies but now in the grip of growth takes us into new depths.
Opening with melancholy female vocals: “Where scratches never fade,” Martha Gibbons’ voice provides a prompt for an intriguing soundscape. Every instrumentation sounds a little off-kilter, the sound of keys becoming stunted, pulses providing a rhythmic charge but in an uncertain direction. For a track steeped in themes of powerlessness and unease, this is very well done.
The new single could be considered a darker, more brooding sound from the band – certainly a shift away from the more celebratory tones of last year’s debut ‘Buried in Gold’. ‘Wilt’ seems to wander through the notion of musical exploration in itself, the lyrics: “this kingdom I create,” hint at a possible self-conscious allusion to the capacity for new music to enter an alternate mode of expression. Considering the band have been working with more looping and sampling, it is an experiment for them too, reminding me a little of the weight of some tracks from Warpaint, but with a different drive to the vocals.
Experimentation opens up new edges, for example the track quickly develops with a pounding drum beat and projected lines: “I’m feeling your breath on my shoulder,” showing a capacity to add to intensity quickly and genuinely, which is a difficult skill to achieve. Even the choice to pause between the syllables of ‘shoulder’ shows skilled musicianship moulding the themes of intensity with simultaneous intimacy.
However, there could be considered a point where experimentation affects the experience, with the uneasiness of the building rhythms interrupting the blend of instrumentation, leaving the listener waiting for a kind of chorus like a relief. For creating sensations, this a song which is certainly effective and the choral quality returns to repeat the line “feeling your breath on my shoulder,” but at points the intensity could almost be deeper, darker.
Of course though, this track still shows off their signature, shimmering ability to use the guitar to stir up the grit of feeling, its use on the track turned up with a bass quality, layering Gibbons’ melancholy looping of ‘oh’ with welcome weight. ‘Wilt’ certainly marks an exciting new chapter for Talmont, yet still showcasing a capability of retaining their signature skill. The knowledge that they are capable of entering these new depths means much excitement around what is going to be a very busy 2017 for the band.
Talmont’s new release ‘Wilt’ is available now through Ont’ Sofa Records.