Within the dreampop or shoegaze genre, vocals are a sensitive thing. Originally the vocals in this genre were meant to function more as an instrument as opposed to the more standard, upfront, “story telling” function they usually have. In dreampop/shoegaze vocals were often pushed to the background for effect, as indistinguishable, breathy adornments. These days the dreampop genre has undergone major acclimatisations to more current hybrid sounds, and people seem to apply their own twists and input to it. All good, but the tricky bit here seems to be the vocals: it seems to be the hardest thing to make it sound contemporary and still get the vibe right. Believe me, I hear a lot of people try and fail: it’s either Cocteau clones, Eilish dupes, or just people that take the drowned effect waaayyy too far… But it IS possible to get vocals more to the front without ruining the sound completely. Olivia Lee from Oakland-based dreampop project There’s Talk, is one of the few that seems to do it just right!
Single “Golden” (released on Dec 4) showcases Olivia‘s understated, poised vocals that are just the right balance of breathy/ ethereal and embodied/intelligible. Her warm tone and technique are just perfect for this type of contemporary electro/dreampop sound. “Golden” is taken from from There’s Talk‘s forthcoming 3rd EP “Great Falls” that releases on December 18, but 4 out of the 5 songs are already free to stream. The trio, also featuring Kellen Balla and Young Lee, creates a sonic landscape of translucent layers of swirling sounds. The EP finds the band at the height of its powers, with a crisp, prismatic production, soaring synths and ambient guitars. Highly recommended!