At this point it’s an easy thing to take the internet and the availability of music for granted which has increased over the years but one of the aspects I still love is that I’m able to watch a live show in New York whilst I’m sat on my sofa in Sheffield via a livestream. Specifically that particular show allowed me to see a live set from one of the artists I write about, which was a great show, but what really stayed with me is that it introduced me to a lot more. In particular, one of the artists in the line up from that show was Talay and as much as I got what I wanted from the act I wanted to see, Talay’s was the stand out set and since then I’ve been hoping that she’d eventually release an EP and recently we’ve been treated to exactly that.
‘Piece By Piece’ is a tricky one to fully describe but that’s one of the best aspects about it. Being honest, the genre of Alt-Folk isn’t one I’ve paid much attention to till now but this release has got me hooked. From the fantastic guitar to the detailed and thought provoking lyrics and the subtleties of the compositions, this is a release that stands out from a lot of things I’ve listened to this year. There’s a lot of honesty in this EP whether it’s presented through the lyrics or the melodies but especially it’s the tone of Talay’s voice. It’s fragile yet strong and you can feel the emotion and truth in every word.
One of the standout tracks is ‘Underside’ which begins with just guitar and vocals and as it builds it reaches a great crescendo both musically and thematically which really grabs your attention. It draws you in and keeps delivering. The emotion and meaning behind this one is impossible to ignore. Even after the 20th listen it still packs the same punch. In a video directed by Talay herself, it adds a lot more to the track. Check it out below:
Across the five tracks on the EP, you quickly understand that Talay puts a lot into her craft from the way songs are structured and presented and each track on it’s own presents those aspects brilliantly. Songs about life lessons, pain, emotion, struggles, hope and living. It’s one of the rare releases that actually qualifies as being described as an experience and overall an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate a great talent.
The compositions are another key area where this EP shines. The way it all fits together represents the themes of the songs without overpowering any of it. It fits the way it’s meant to so that the instrument and tone selection serves the songs and not the other way around. Other releases have songs that are based around a riff or a hook but these are fully crafted songs that are designed to create an emotional response and they all hit the mark.
Ultimately this is a release where the high level of quality speaks for itself. There’s a lot I could write about this release but it really is worth listening to it and discovering the meanings for yourself. Talay has put herself into this release, into each and every song and the overall effect is one that will keep you coming back for more.
For more on Talay check out the links below and I highly recommend that you do.