Fresh outta Melbourne, Self Talk are a pop-rockin’ four piece whose jams are so infectious they should be quarantined. Having kicked around local gigs for a while, 2017 is really shaping up to be their Watergate year.
Their newest cut Old Habits struts an oft-walked line; that of a sad song wrapped in bright musicality. Tales of misguided romance are entwined by upbeat percussion, shining lead guitar work and vocal hooks for days.
Reflective, resounding and riddled with tainted remembrance, Old Habits has opened up the floodgates on Self Talk’s string of 2017 releases.
We spoke to lead singer Stacey Cicivelli about this hit, and the low-flying malevolence hidden within its lyrics.
“When I started writing Old Habits, I felt like I had this really catchy, upbeat thing in my head. And when the words came out, it kind of ended up being about self doubt and unhealthy relationships – maybe not the most upbeat topic.”
“I think it’s about second guessing your decisions and questioning your reality, and all the things people tell you to help you slide down that rabbit hole. It’s the story of that relationship that becomes more of a habit than anything – it’s familiar and convenient, but definitely not a source of happiness. And even though you know all that, you can be persuaded back into it with the right words.”
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It’s a situation an unfortunately large portion of the population is all too familiar with. Shining a cheery light on the topic is a noble act, whether the original intention was there or otherwise. Placing a positive spin on the negatives of the world gets a pass in our books any day of the week.
Heavy layering has forever been a bastion of the Self Talk sound, a tapestry of reverb and dense instrumentation which gives their tracks such a floaty, dreamlike and reflective feel.
On Old Habits, Self Talk certainly didn’t say adios to this technique. But that’s not to say they haven’t tried anything new.
“There’s a cello on the recording which really added to the depth of the song. We have a friend who plays that beautiful instrument and she offered to come in just to see if we could add anything to the songs. Old Habits definitely wasn’t a song we expected to have cello on, but we ended up giving it a shot and it just added this whole other layer of tension to the bridge.”
“There are some vocals on there that were yelled away from the mic, which we haven’t done a lot of before, and that happens on a few of the other songs too. We wanted to keep the bright elements while still having it hit us in the face, so to speak.”
If you’re buying what Self Talk is selling on Old Habits, then you’d best keep your ear to the ground for the Melbournians’ forthcoming outputs. With an unnamed, six-track EP confirmed for 2017, there’s plenty more to hear from Cicvelli and the rest of the band’s rockers.
“I think each track is really different, but all of them have that common thread that makes them Self Talk songs – lots of layers, and hopefully some catchy riffs and melodies. I feel like they all hit hard, but in pretty different ways. As a collection of songs they feel cohesive, which is why we’re releasing them as an EP later in the year.”
“From start to finish it feels like a very complete record, and it’s a got a bit of everything we feel we do well so it’s something we’re really proud of. There might be another single before the EP comes out, too.”
Self Talk are launching Old Habits this Friday at the Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood. Entry is $10 on the door. Grab all the details you need right here.