Release Date: May 19 Our Rating: 4.5/5 Spec Recs: “While Everyone Was Watching,” “She Lives in My House,” “Something Always Changes” In one word: Trippy
Talk In Tongues came to be after each band member left other projects to form the Los Angeles foursome. The group released singles online and was eventually signed to Fairfax Recordings. The debut album,Alone With a Friend, was released on May 19.
“Time’s Still (For No One Yet)” takes you on a psychedelic journey as the guitar whirls up and down the melody. As far as the mix goes, the drums could have been brought a little more, as they get buried underneath the guitars and you hear little “tings” on the hi-hat. “While Everyone Was Watching” gets right to the point — ballsy and fresh with funk flavors. The bass commands attention and the percussion is right on point (and mixed better than the previous song). The guitar synth resembles a sitar at some of its highest points. The song soars from beginning to end, and when the guitar kicks up to an exploding riff at 3:26, it solidifies the song as one of the best on the album.
The guitars possess a glockenspiel-sounding tone and make “Mas Doper (Love Me Probably)” sound tribal with the funky backbeat. The melody and chorus are catchy and easily get stuck in your head. I will say that the one thing about this song I would change is the sound of the drumstick hitting the hi-hat on every sixteenth note in the chorus — the pingy “tings” are distracting from the overall mix. The echoey guitars in “Still Don’t Seem to Care” exemplify the feeling of soaring through the clouds, especially at 0:55 when it feels like a skyrocket through the atmosphere. “All by yourself / Still don’t seem to care / No one’s left / It’s you and all your (stares?)” is the chant of the chorus, and it makes me wonder what inspired the lyrics. The song ends abruptly at 3:13 and it made me check to see if my computer froze — nope, the song just ends abruptly after the lyrics of “No one” in the chorus.
In “After Tonight,” the acoustic guitar paired with the whirring guitar resembles the introduction to “Enders Toi” by Tame Impala. At 1:24, the synth launches into cyberspace and gives the song an astronomical feeling. As probably one of the more mellow, yet still energetic, pieces on the album, “Always Fade” portrays a portrait of colors splashing on the canvas. The arpeggiated keys sound like the “dream sequence” melody that puts you under a spell. “Colors always fade” is the repeated line of the chorus.
The combination of the bongos, shakers and flute gives “Call for No One Else” a tribal feel right from the start. This is the first song on the album that shows vocal harmonies, and it reflects a Beach Boys sound. The melody and harmonies almost sound like the recognizable “ooh-woah-woah” part in Grizzly Bear‘s famous “Two Weeks.” The guitar solo near the end of the song fades out the vocals and truly shines until it carries you to the end of the song. “She Lives in My House” jumps into a driven, low synthy guitar, similar to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “No Need for a Leader.” The chorus states “She lives in my house too / She thinks I’m precious too” and the lyrics talk about the times he spends with a girl who lives with him. My guess is he wrote this song after his lady finally moved into his home, and it’s an anthem of the next step for couples.
“Who Would’ve Guessed” begins with vocal “dun-dun-dun-dun” that leads into a duet with the bass. The half-time in the chorus almost lulls you out of consciousness and the pick up back to its original tempo in the verses wakes you up. Even the effects on the vocals cut in and out with the effects on the guitar. The in-and-out feel in the tempo and the intensity of the effects really feels like going in and out of consciousness; blurring and re-focusing. A more mellow “Always All the Time” rocks you back and forth in a daydream haze with its atmospheric synth-filled lullaby. However, I think the last song on the album, “Something Always Changes,” should have been placed earlier in the album and the release should have ended with “Always All the Time” because of its pep and energy. A true testament to growing, they sing about “Something always changes / Nothing stays the same” and how everything they recognized growing up is no longer. Again, hints of Unknown Mortal Orchestra reign in the instrumentation.