Jom Comyn/Close Talker
Crawl // Double Lunch
Jom Comyn’s new album Crawl is a focused collection of twelve songs that range from noisy transitional pieces to low-key pop-anthems which are all delivered in songwriter Jim Cuming’s earnest, baritone drawl. Fans of Drag City favorites the Silver Jews or Bill Callahan will find lots to like here; Cuming’s gift for a similar type of wry, observational, lyricism is evident across the whole record. Crawl is a notable departure from the sprawling I Need Love (released in 2017), and by and large, benefits from the restraint. Each track feels crucial to the whole, and are all bound together by confident instrumentation and production choices that result in the best sounding and most cohesive Jom Comyn record to date.
“Street Sweeper”, “Chapel of Chimes” and “Change Your Mind” are all standout tracks, and showcase Cuming’s seemingly boundless pop songwriting chops. The interludes bring some delightful strangeness to the table, and do a great job of introducing elements from the next track in a way that’s natural but always delightfully unexpected (“prelogue to crawl” is particularly fun). The final two tracks are the most patient explorations of the sonic space Jom Comyn has created with Crawl, and are some of the best songs the band has released. They’re both uncomplicated, inevitable, subtly-experimental, and take their time to discover every inch of space around Cuming’s understated songwriting; in other words, they’re fine examples of everything there is to love about Jom Comyn in 2019.
- Sean Newton
How Do We Stay Here // Slow Weather
Some bands get to a point where everything they touch turns to gold and Close Talker is beginning to look like one of those bands. Their hands are all over their new album which the band chose to produce themselves with help engineering and mixing by Bobby Daze at RMS Studios in Regina, SK. The result is an album that is deeply connected to the hearts and hands of the makers. How Do We Stay Here was released by Slow Weather (North America) and Sinnbus (Europe) on August 30th, 2019.
Close Talker is currently on a cross country tour in support of How Do We Stay Here and are breaking new ground with 3D-360 Silent Headphone Concerts. These concerts are an immersive experience that bring the audience closer, connecting them to the music in an intimate way. This goes to show just how in-tune the band is with this new album that already calls the listener to close their eyes and sink into a world of reflection and calm.
Once you’ve stepped in you’ll be asking yourself the question, “how do I stay here?” There is a simplicity and space throughout the album that sets an emotional tone that you want to last. The guitars and synths are expansive and encompassing, filled with pillowy soft reverb to sink into like a comfortable bed while layered vocal harmonies sooth the soul. Dynamic diversity is driven home by the drums that mimic the changes of a beating heart, from hold your breath moments to anticipation and excitement.
By asking the themselves the question “How Do We Stay Here”, Close Talker is striving to make music with integrity and conviction and that approach is exactly what is going to propel the band to new heights.
- Jeshaiah David