ARTIST: SMALL TALKS
TITLE: A CONVERSATION BETWEEN US
LABEL: COMMON GROUND RECORDS
WORDS: GAVIN BROWN
The music of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s Small Talks evokes wistful feelings and memories of hazy days from the outset and as soon as you hear their music, you are transported to much more summery climes. Their debut album ‘A Conversation Between Us’ is a perfect example.
Much like the vastly underrated Swedish band The Sounds, Small Talks have an enchanting vibe about them and their music and it has to be said that the vocals of Small Talks’ Cayley Spivey – much like The Sounds singer Maja Ivarsson – has got both striking harmonies and an almost perfect voice for the songs here, a simple but very effective tone that lights up every song. There is also a big Chrvches vibe, with Lauren Mayberry a pretty big reference point when it comes to Cayley’s gorgeous vocals.
“evokes wistful feelings and memories of hazy days from the outset”
Small Talks is a project very much of Spivey’s own making, and her personality and presence shines through on every single song on the album. Only one listen all the way through will let you into her world, one you will want to explore and let it consume you.
‘A Conversation Between Us’ begins with the upbeat ‘Better For It’, a jangly and poppy song where the sound and promise of Spivey comes alive immediately. This is a catchy start that grabs you from the offset and the first thing that you notice is how well the music and vocals flow together with ease. The even more energetic ‘Oceans’ follows and continues that great start with those vocals, again, taking center stage, telling stories and evoking memories that a huge majority of people will be able to relate to.
The emotional ‘Teeth’ is up next and sees a more forlorn nature starting the track but this soon morphs into a electronic anthem of a song, one that has a definite Chrvches vibe to it but one that is not derivative in any way.
The stirring ‘Bed’, reflective ‘Anybody’ and irresistible ‘Honeydew’ make up the middle section of the record and seem to have been perfectly chosen to fit together in this order and show so many sides of the music of Small Talks.
“This is a record that is certainly ready made for the upcoming summer months”
The reflective ‘Never Made It’ is a sublime and striking ballad that brings in an even more emotional vibe and is quickly followed by the quirky ‘Nicotine & Tangerines’ before the electronic drenched charge of ‘Thinking Of The Sun’ finishes things off with a bang. It rounds the album off perfectly, allowing a darkness that has only been bubbling under the surface to come to the fore, albeit a darkness with a sleek pop shine complete with a driving surge to conclude.
This is a record that is certainly ready made for the upcoming summer months and will bring a sunny warmth to your ears even when it is bitterly cold, although there can be a cutting nature to the songs that encapsulates the music of Small Talks brilliantly. The lyrics of Honeydew for example with “You’re an endless summer and I’m the winter you don’t like” summing that juxtaposition up nicely, but it has to be said that bouncy, infectious tunes are the order of the day, and complete with some telling lyrics and the way they are interwoven it’s a genius move.
The most telling thing about ‘A Conversation Between Us’, is that it is strikingly evident that Small Talks have got ten upbeat and catchy gems here, there is no denying that, and long may they continue to enchant us with them.