Music Spotlight: Talk Time
LA-based indie band Talk Time's latest single Desperate Weather just dropped today, and we can't stop listening. The psychedelic-infused tune urges us to reflect on what's in our control to better ourselves. We chatted with vocalist Edson Choi about the track, his addiction to cable news + the band's influences.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your new release! Tell us about Desperate Weather.
Talk Time: I've always thought people are interconnected. The more I live and learn about our world, the more I'm convinced it's not just people, but the universe is a fabric that is all connected, entities that are part of bigger entities–life on this planet, the stars and beyond–we're all part of the same thing (kind of like the ending to Men in Black I). So, that's why when I was addicted to hate-watching cable news for a while, I almost lost my marbles. All of them. It's not just the negativity, it was the powerful talking heads squabbled over the wrong thing (not unlike the White Walker problem in Game of Thrones).
This song came out of that period, and writing it actually gave me a mantra to use when I feel bummed out by our modern maladies: 'Keep me strange and awake in this ocean of cells... we all need some help, there'll be no one else', which are the bridge lyrics on this song. I especially like the last part of that because it implies taking responsibility for what you can be better about, and pushing forward your own evolution as a better human.
it implies taking responsibility for what you can be better about, and pushing forward your own evolution as a better human.
AM: What else can we expect to hear on your upcoming debut EP?
TT: With the release of Desperate Weather and our debut with Year Of Self a couple months back, we're antsy to release the rest of the three tracks in the five song EP. The whole EP came out so fantastic, and Matt Bishop (Killers, U2) was super duper generous with his time. We're so grateful.
AM: How would you describe your sound?
TT: We love psychedelic stuff but didn't necessarily want to reflect that with the sort of 'vintage' filter that is being done to death here in LA. So, the idea was to attempt to be psychedelic not just through the sonics of instruments, but in the songwriting sense, while keeping the sonics clean and modern. It's actually pretty intimidating. Seriously.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue through your music?
TT: I like to take inspiration from wherever it hits hardest. For instance, our last single Year Of Self was an ode to astronomer Galileo, who was a total misfit in his time but through his convictions can be argued to be one of the fathers of modern science. And like I was saying earlier, Desperate Weather came from trying to cleanse myself of my cable news addiction. Inspiration can seem a random thing.
AM: What other musicians are currently inspiring you?
TT: I've been a huge fan of Frank Ocean. Besides the great style and production, his voice and songs have a sort of fusion of swagger and vulnerability; it's unique and beautiful. Vulfpeck is a band our whole band adores, they're brilliant musicians that never cease to impress and put a smile with every song and video they do.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
TT: I like to think our music is reflective of the LA landscape; there's so much life and energy in LA–both manic and beautiful. It's impossible not to soak it in and process through our music. I grew up on Queen and The Beatles, but early 90s hip hop was also a huge influence. I love how MCs rep their hood, and I like to think we rep ours, the city we're from, and the vibe of our ideals.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self/music?
TT: We built a little studio in Boyle Heights called Super Nice. Our landlord runs an art production and workshop in the rest of the warehouse, so sometimes we get to look at sculptures and other types of visual artists doing their thing–it's great. We practically live there eating tacos and making music.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
TT: The rest of our EP sometime later this year.