Featured Artist: Close Talker

Safe to say, dear reader, that you’ve had experience with a close talker… but have you with the Close Talker? If not, let this be your introduction to the alternative/indie quartet out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  For a city known best for its bridges and berries, Close Talker is another welcome addition to the list of Saskatoon highlights.  Comprised of Will Quiring (vocals, guitar), Matthew Kopperud (guitar, vocals), Jeremy Olson (vocals, bass) and Chris Morien (vocals, drums), Close Talker formed in early 2012, and have made some impressive headway in the music industry since then.  They released their second full length album this past November, and have some exciting developments on the horizon for December, no doubt into 2015 and onwards, all of which make them Bucketlist’s featured artist for December.

A little history…  The guys’ debut album Timbers was independently released in early 2013.  A testament to their talent, they placed top 5 in the regional finalists for CBC’s 2013 Searchlight competition for best new Canadian artist.  Spanning from smooth and atmospheric to forceful and up tempo, the harmonies on Timbers are incredibly strong and uplifting.  Combine them with whimsically complex and emotive guitars and percussion, this album reminds me a lot of one of my absolute faves, Aussie band Boy & Bear.

Next came four-song EP Slow Weather, released in December 2013.  From the stunning, tranqulized version of Timbers’ “Creature” to a gorgeous cover of Bon Iver’s “Perth”, it’s clear to see how Close Talker’s sound was evolving into something more layered and rich, if that was possible.

Most recently, in November 2014, the band released its latest offering, Flux.  Having listened to it on repeat over the past week, it’s hard to believe it was written in the span of about a week.  Morien has explained that the songs are a reflection of the band’s current situation in life, “from playing a lot more music, growing as people, and learning about ourselves, we’re kind of in flux, I guess.”  Flux has brought comparisons to Local Natives, Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon.  I also heard elements of Matt Corby, particularly in Quiring’s more subdued vibrato.  Even with those comparisons though, Flux manages to stand on its own.  Spin Magazine recently streamed Flux first single “Burnstick” and praised the album’s “rigid yet sanguine melodies” and “achingly euphoric lyricism.”  I agree.  It’s an atmospheric, complex and well executed album indeed.

The guys have been on tour across North America since mid-November will hit seven more cities before the new year, with dates in Seattle, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon.  Of note, Regina’s date will feature ambient alt-folk/indie band and fellow Saskatchewanians, Swift Current’s own Bears in Hazenmore as one of the opening acts.

Timbers and Flux are available on iTunes. Slow Weather is available at bandcamp.

Written by Valerie

About Valerie 21 Articles
Valerie has always enjoyed discovering new music and sharing her awesome finds with others. She's especially fond of alternative, pop, indie, folk and singer-songwriter genres, but also has a soft spot for the old storyteller country music her parents played while she was young. A good chord progression makes her weak in the knees; prime examples being the opening notes of John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in Burning Room" and 2:22 to 2:46 of Foy Vance's "You and I". Her all-time faves include: Crowded House, Keane, The Housemartins, Ron Sexsmith and Travis. Newer faves include: Boy & Bear, Josh Pyke and Bastille.

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