Melbourne, Australia based alt-pop four-piece, Strange Talk, will release their self-produced Wind-up Records debut album Cast Away on April 29. Rolling Stone (Australia) gave Cast Away a four out of five star review calling it “Equal parts Cut Copy and Daft Punk with pinches of Eighties pop, Strange Talk’s album is a fizzy cocktail of synths, breathy vocals and tinny drums.” Billboard said, “Stateside fans of stylish alt-pop acts like Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy and Royksopp will be getting very familiar with Strange Talk… Bursting with ornate synthesizers and warm vocals…”
Strange Talk’s anthemic electro-tinged debut single “Young Hearts” was produced by Captain Cuts (Grouplove, Smallpools, The Mowgli’s) and mixed by Tony Hoffer. Neon Gold premiered the track recently stating, “From the sizzling coming-of-age synth arpeggios to the contagious singalong choruses, it’s an ageless beauty that bleeds neon and shimmers like glitter and gold.” Listen to it HERE.
Naturally Ghettoblaster couldn’t be left out of the mix and caught up with Stephen Docker to discuss the record. This is what he said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for Cast Away?
We started writing for the album early in 2012…at first we were writing whilst in between tours around Australia, but we found that we were struggling to keep ideas flowing when we kept having to stop where we were at and go back on the road. So we blocked out a three month period in order to lock ourselves away to evolve our ideas and ‘work around the clock’ to finish the things we would start.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
‘Wanted (Dead or Alive) was one song that changed many times. Originally that song was one we wrote a while back for a completely different project. For a laugh, we were going through our archives of songs/instrumentals we had done in the past and came across the song, which eventually became the song on this album. From memory this song evolved about four times with each edit being completely different from the previous. Furthermore, there is so much happening and a lot of programming in the song so it took the longest in the mixing process before we were happy with it.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
‘Come Back Home’ is a ballad, and the first ballad we’ve ever attempted to write. It was also the first song we’ve ever written using just a piano. Usually we produce the whole instrumental first including drums, bass, guitars, synth, etc. and the vocals are the last piece of the puzzle, but this song we wrote on the fly with nothing but a piano then produced once it was written.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Not on this record. However, it’s something we’ve talked about quite a lot for any future albums/songs.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
We have produced this record ourselves. Producing is our roots and something we started doing even before writing lyrics so for us we find a real enjoyment producing our music. Having said that, there are a few tracks from the record that a good friend from the Australian band Gypsy and the Cat came in to co-produce. We’re all great friends so we have a lot of fun working together and we help each other out when and wherever we can. Furthermore our latest single ‘Young Hearts’ was co-produced by the duo Captain Cuts (GroupLove, Small Pools). They are super talented guys and were a whole lot of fun to work with.
Is there an overarching concept behind Cast Away that ties the record together?
Not exactly. We wanted each song to have its own identity. I guess lyrically each song allows the listener to interpret the lyrics in their own way. There is a fair bit of nostalgia drawn throughout the record too.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We have, however not every song has made the live setlist just yet. The lead song ‘Cast Away’ is quite epic, also ‘Falling In Love’ always gets even the most conservative of audiences moving. Then the songs like ‘Eskimo Boy’ and ‘Is It Real?’ Allows us to rock out and shred a bit more which is always fun.
(Pre-orders are available on iTunes HERE. Those who pre-order will get six songs instantly including their new single “Young Hearts,” as well as two exclusive bonus songs. Pre-order the CD or limited edition double white vinyl from Amazon HERE and get the digital version added to your cloud player for free on April 29, 2014. Exclusive merchandise and album pre-order bundles are also available through the band’s store HERE.)