with their 2015 debut full-length for rough trade, girl band delivered raucously experimental post-punk earning them a dedicated set of listeners in their native ireland and the world over. in the face of all the acclaim, the band retreated from the spotlight. the band re-emerged this year, offering two singles from a forthcoming full-length that promises to be an extension of the band’s famously abrasive sound.
the band plays elsewhere on 10/8. ahead of the show, they took the time to answer a few of our questions about the new record and jumping back into touring.
The Talkies’ was recorded at Ballintubbert House and is said to have been a central focus for the record. How did the idea come about to represent the house through the record?
So, we’d initially chose Ballintubbert as the place to record because there was a lot of different types of rooms and interesting acoustic possibilities there. On this record we wanted to have a changing sense of space throughout the tracks, so it really helped with creating that naturally without having to rely on effects in the mix for it. There’s also a lot of found sounds on parts of the record, so while we were down there we thought it’d be good to use different parts of the house in this, closing doors, the fountain, the fridge and suchlike. So you get the sound of the place it was made on the instruments, drum room mics and guitars etc. but also sounds of things that normally exist in that environment in it’s typical day to day non studio function.
You’ve previously mentioned this album as being written apart from one another. How do you think this impacted the sound of the album?
Only some of the tracks were done like this to a degree, but there was times when it might just be myself and Al for example, down in the rehearsal room, we’d make a drum loop record it on the computer and overdub ideas on top of that. We would then later feel these tracks out with the rest of the band and finish it off in a normal rehearsal setting. But I guess this method kind of opened us up to the songwriting process a little more abstractly, like using the found sounds section in Prefab Castle came totally from this. Even the way the songs self reference each other could be derived from there, thinking as the songwriting in a slightly more sample based way as opposed to the four people in a room bashing it out which we had done before.
Can you speak to the inspiration and meaning behind the “Shoulderblades” video and Oona Doherty’s accompanying performance?
I feel slightly unqualified to answer really, the video content came from Bob and Oona, we knew we wanted something abstract and non story based, but the content is from the two of them reacting to the music and what they saw in it I guess.
Were there any artists, musical or otherwise, particularly influential during the creation of this record?
The record was written over quite a long period of time that it’s a little hard to pin it down, we’ve listened to a lot of music in the interim. One reference that kept coming up in the sequencing of the record was Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On, the way the songs flowed into each other and the way it starts and ends with the same thing, that was a big influence. Similarly the way Kendrick Lemar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterly’ is sequenced, the tracks self referencing each other, the linearity of it was super influential on our record.
It’s been a while since you’ve been in the states for some shows, and fans are really excited to see the band again. What are you most looking forward to about being back on the road?
It’s been so long since we’ve played that it’ll just be super exciting to be in front of an audience again. Most of the songs on the new record haven’t been played live before so it’ll be fun feeling that out on stage for the first time.
Interview by Laila El Agizy