Later this week Talkdemonic will release its first video from Eyes at Half Mast, the Orie Weeks-directed “Duality of Deathening.” The band is also wrapping up its Fall tour this week on the West Coast. The video follows a jovial robot who tries to learn about being human through a book called Understanding Man. He gets a quick lesson in biology, chemistry and in Heaven vs. Hell. Orie Weeks also directed the much-beloved video for Blitzen Trapper’s “Wild Mountain Nation.”
Speakers everywhere are rejoicing with the arrival of Eyes at Half Mast, the third record from Talkdemonic, which was released Sept. 16 via Arena Rock. The Portland, Oregon duo of Kevin O’Connor and Lisa Molinaro have been playing together since 2003; she plays the viola and he plays everything else, including, but not limited to: drums, synths, and acoustic instruments. The result is an intoxicating blend of symphonic strings, explosive percussion, and achingly beautiful music.
Eyes at Half Mast is the band’s high water mark. The album has its moments of cathartic beauty, (especially on “Duality of Deathening” and “March Movement“) and of haunting elegies (as exemplified by “Tides in Their Grave” and “Dust and Heat”). There are passages filled with raw dissonance on the record, such as the
release and tension offered by “Civilian.” There is a sense of loss and memory running through many of these songs, but the tone of the record is ultimately one of hope.
Talkdemonic continue to expand the range of emotion that they are able to evoke without words. The band is emerging in terms of composition, song structure and recording, and the sound crystallizes here. Talkdemonic is hitting a stride in songwriting with tunes like “March Movement” and “Duality of Deathening,” which feature complex arrangements, layers and harmonies. It’s worth noting that O’Connor mixed eleven of the twelve songs from this set.
Talkdemonic is admired for their cathartic and bewitching live sets, with O’Connor’s rhythmic prowess and Molinaro’s ethereal sound co-mingling. They have been playing these songs to swooning audiences for the past two years, and their sound comes together for Eyes at Half Mast.
10/27: San Diego, CA – Casbah #
10/28: Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland
10/29: San Francisco, CA – Cafe du Nord
11/01: Eugene, OR – Sam Bond’s Garage
# = w/ Jeffrey Lewis
Eyes At Half Mast
Street date: Sept. 16, 2008
1. Leaving Light
2. Ending the Orange Glow
3. Duality of Deathening
4. Shattered Into Dyes
5. Tides in their Grave
7. Black Wood Crimson
8. March Movement
9. Dim Sky
10. Shallow Doldrums
11. Dust and Heat
12. Huancayo Orchestrelle
13. Dream by Heart
14. A Hundred Faces in the Neon Forest
Label Page: www.arenarockrecordingco.com