Roaring back with news of their much-anticipated debut album, and a storming new track, ‘Gold’, TALK SHOW are ready for their grand opening statement. Read our latest Hype playlist cover feature now.
Words: Sam Taylor.
From the pulsating heart of South London, a new chapter is being etched by the indomitable Talk Show. Initially making their presence known on the capital’s music scene before the madness of the pandemic hit, in 2024 they finally stand poised to unleash ‘Effigy’, their much-awaited debut album that promises to capture the raw intensity of their live performances and distil it into nine tracks of unapologetic boldness.
Due on the 16th February via Missing Piece Records, new single, ‘Gold’, is a testament to this. It’s a track that doesn’t just demand attention — it seizes it, with relentless drums and a bassline that pulses with the lifeblood of the city’s night.
Ready to make their grand opening statement, ‘Effigy’ is the sound of a band channelling their fire into an album that frontman Harrison Swann describes as bigger and braver than anything that’s come before. Trust us, it’s more than worth the wait. We caught up to find out more.
Hi Harrison! How’s it going? Are you up to anything fun today?
I’ve actually had a really nerdy day. I went guitar shopping on Denmark Street as I’m currently looking for something new to play this album on tour. It’s a bit of a whirlwind on Denmark Street; sometimes, you instantly know what you’re looking for, and other times it’s much more difficult.
Tell us about your debut album ‘Effigy’ – when did you start work on it? What was your headspace like at the time?
Writing pretty much started as soon as we came out of the studio from recording the previous EP. It felt like a pretty natural process aiming for something bigger and, on the whole, aimed to be a bit braver. I think that’s why we started to pull from a wider cross-section of influences. I’d been listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine, stuff that was a lot harder and darker, with loads of textures and nuances. With NIN, it’s got so many different layers to it, which is what I really wanted to explore. How could we create an album that wasn’t one-dimensional and had a range of emotions? We talked a lot in the studio with Remi about the fact that there’s nothing interesting about screaming in a hurricane; it’s much more alluring and effective whispering instead.
What’s the album about? Who is the effigy for?
It’s not technically ‘about’ anything, but the main musical nods in the album, such as ‘Gold’ and ‘Catalonia’, are supposed to feel like you’re in a club. The main one we talk about a lot is the one in Blade, but the claustrophobia of the practical scene in Fallen Angels and Enter the Void played a massive part. I hate all the really reductive cliches about clubs, drugs, and ‘escapism’; in my eyes, they can also be really intimidating and unsettling places, and so it was important to have a sense of that juxtaposition. It’s why my vocals were mixed to feel like they’re either the voice in your head or the person standing right next to you jam-packed in a club. For the title, I suppose, in short, we’ve built an effigy to a nightclub, from the music to the cover. Also, the fact that effigies aren’t just hated and burnt but also worshipped, and I felt that fit perfectly for the album. It isn’t a romantic ode to a club, and it’s not a damnation either.
“We’ve built an effigy to a nightclub”Harrison Swann
How did you approach curating the tracklisting?
We were pretty much all on the same page when it came to the track listing. We knew it had to start with ‘Gold’ and go from there. It needed to take you through this club space we’d envisioned in the music. Ending on ‘Catalonia’ was also a total given; it’s where we really tried to hone in on creating an atmosphere that you could feel, so it made sense to finish there.
Did you hit upon any unexpected challenges during the record’s creation?
I wouldn’t call it an unexpected challenge, but once we were in the studio with Remi, it took on this new whole lease of life. Remi really helped us pinpoint all the dark corners of the music and accentuate all the breaks. It was all these millisecond notes or pauses that the detail really started to shine through. It became a cardinal sin to play over the top of each other, especially me and Tom. So that got pretty intense and pushed us pretty damn hard to get better at what we were playing.
How does ‘Gold’ fit into the album?
‘Gold’ really helped pave the way for the rest of the album. Whenever we’ve played it live to crowds, the response is always instantaneous, and it made us clock pretty early on like, “Wow we’ve got something here”. I’m really fuckin’ proud of that song.
Do you think anything about the album will be a surprise to fans?
It’s weird, and it’s different, but I know it’s hands down the best thing we’ve ever written.
What would you most like to achieve with the album?
The thing I’ve always said is I want to take this band/the album as far as it will go. Take it to the biggest stages and play it to the biggest crowds. Getting to Glasto wouldn’t be too shabby, either.
Are there any debut albums from other artists you’re especially looking forward to right now?
A band called Maruja joined us on tour this year back in Spring. Without a shadow of a doubt, them – plus they’re sound as fuck
Is there anything else we should know?
We’ve got some pretty special shows lined up for the next year, so keep your eyes peeled. ■
Talk Show’s debut album ‘Effigy’ is out 16th February. Follow Dork’s Hype Spotify playlist here.