There's Talk | Great Falls (new EP)
If you're looking for a therapeutic musical excursion into the land of dreamgaze, Great Falls, the stunning new EP from Oakland-based dream-pop trio There's Talk, just might be the remedy to soothe your pysche. Fronted by Olivia Lee and featuring collaborators Kellan Balla and Young Lee, There's Talk released its debut Tiny Strands EP in 2013. The band's 2018 sophomore EP, bathed water moon, demonstrated There's Talk developing and further refining its signature sound that delicately blends dreamy, distant vocals, reverbed guitars and subtle electronics into a gorgeous, hazy wave of shimmer and color. There's Talk has drawn comparisons to contemporary bands Beach House and M83, while evoking musical similarities to classic shoegaze bands the likes of Slowdive, Mazzy Star and Ride.
Olivia's music is drawn from her childhood love of electronic synthesizers and acoustic piano, her Chinese heritage, and queer identity - she writes music about family, both chosen and blood, and divine coincidence. On social media, Olivia describes Great Falls as "songs of blood and chosen family, immaterial realm, visitations, starting over." The EP and its closing track ("Ascension") in particular, honor bloodline and are dedicated to "mom and Ling Yi - two sisters, mothers." Olivia comments, "Great Falls is a place - a waterfall system I used to walk and climb along in my home town. Rare nights, when I’m lucky, I skip along the rocks with her there, sun beaming through her natural hair as I remember it - as she had promised we would." She adds, "Grief does not cease. It becomes a sort of friend to hold. And a reminder that we are alive. To honor is to remember, to be present, to have a future and to live it as fully as you could ever dream."
Taking in the entire 5-track EP is a cathartic, releasing journey. The dreamy, slow and distant "A Slow Returns" opens the EP. The pace picks up, with the pulsing, subdued, electronic "Disinformation." Standout track "Golden" is my favorite - gorgeous, melodic, solid - what a vibe. I love everything about this song. The dreamy "Hand in Reverse" echoes classic, hazy Slowdive, while the closing track "Ascension" delicately concludes the Great Falls journey.