Perth’s NEW TALK have today released their sophomore album, Time & Memory. You might have known them under their previous name, Rag n’ Bone, where they released A Handful of Ash. We are stoked today to be able to have a track-by-track breakdown of this album which has been keenly anticipated.
Time & Memory explores issues that are resonating loudly in Australian society. The patriarchy and toxic masculinity are explored, as are personal reflections on love and death. The band endeavours to unite, not divide, through a meaningful discourse of these topics.
Their music is typically sonically rich, elaborate well constructed landscapes coupled with elaborate lyrics. Time & Memory continues this pattern artfully.
The members of NEW TALK have a number of accolades to their credit. Axel Carrington & Sara McPherson were recipients of WAM’s Best Guitarist and Best Bassist respectively in 2018. Vocalist Kiera Owen was crowned Best Live Voice at the NLMA’s in 2016.
The album was produced by Dave Parkin and mastered by Sarah Register
Press <Play> and listen to Time & Memory from NEW TALK, and read the background to each of the tracks. Listen from start to end, it rewards richly.
Inspired by a devastating bushfire that ravaged through South Gippsland in Victoria at the turn of the 20th century. A statement on the importance of place and family remembrance, oscillating between vast space and massive distortion and anchored by Kiera’s powerful lead vocal.
A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Named after the Flannery O’Connor short story, this track is the band using that grotesque Southern Gothic mess to explore its own relationship with toxic masculinity and Australian identity. It’s also perhaps the only known instance of both a shovel and a squash racquet string flick being used as rhythmic overdubs.
A continuation of some of the core themes of the record, this track explores the continued control of clay that the patriarchy moulds, but the hopes that silver bells bloom to signal its demise. It’s been a live favourite for the past few years.
Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You
While this song touches upon references & key themes of the record, like the weight of history, both personal and universal, it also is closer to home as it touches upon the all-encompassing sadness of a friend’s passing. This is probably Axel’s favourite song on the album because of this.
Inspired by the continued work of Behrouz Boochani and many others, this 13/8 monolith is the band’s attempt at a call to action and rallying cry. We are all sometimes lost in labyrinths of self – but we owe it to those who need it most to do the work and find the exit.
Draws its title from the legend of Amytis who, being sated by her husband King Nebuchadnezzar II, had the Hanging Gardens of Babylon built for her to remind her of her homeland.
The Truth Does Not Change
Another title inspired by the passing of events in history and how one must learn from them, apply their lessons in daily life and gently tries to rebuke that Hell is actually one’s self not using these to understand others. Lots of flange and a locomotive running out of track feature prominently.
Frida, the final track on Time & Memory is the band’s attempt to reflect its namesake, the artist F.Kahlo. Built upon a quote from her diaries & a lyric collaboration between Kiera & Axel, the overwhelming wave of sound is a reflection on identity, loss, self and everflowing slippery time. Featuring myriad references to both personal and universal themes, the song is the band’s olive branch of hope – that while everything is all at once and can be too much, shouldn’t it be anything but?
Time & Memory is out now.
The band has a gig to celebrate the launch of the album, at The Rechabite in Perth on the 16th April – tickets HERE
Photo credit: Stapled Together