Lo Talker is the new project by brothers Andrew (vocals, songwriting) and Zach Shepherd (bass), who previously led the highly underrated band Roadkill Ghost Choir. The sound is very similar–a mix of grindy electric Americana with ambient flourishes and interludes, with obscure lyrics influenced by My Morning Jacket and War on Drugs. It’s a true album, in that it flows together and emphasizes sound and mood over hits. There’s really nothing here that will jump out as a single, but if you really want pop dig ahead to “No Champagne.” Otherwise, just start at track one, close your eyes, and immerse yourself.
Overall, Lo Talker borrows heavily from its predecessor band and probably doesn’t ever get quite as suprising, but it’s just as fascinating. At the same time, the Shepherd brothers seem much more comfortable as performers now–more polished–so what the album lacks in improvisational edge it gains in craft. It’s a solid progression for a very talented singer/songwriter, and it makes good use of the ability, in studio, to move sound in a very specific, goal-driven way.
I’ve listened to the album straight through twice now, and I grow fonder each time. There’s a lot in here. It’s dense. I suspect when I look back in a few months at this review, I’ll wish I’d written something else–because more keeps popping up.