WE MADE IT TO EPISODE 50 Y’ALL. Can you believe it? We certainly can’t—like most amateur podcasts started in times of immense unemployment, we sort of assumed this was going to sputter out after a couple of months. But NO. We’ve defied the odds, and to celebrate this arbitrarily momentous occasion (counting the B-Sides we actually have something like 78 episodes, but who counts the B-Sides?), we’re discoursing about one of the bands that brought us to this accursed island in the first place: Talk Talk
Talk Talk are one of those whose reputation wildly varies depending on who you talk to. To most of the world, they’re the one-hit new wave band behind that one No Doubt song where Gwen Stefani gets executed; to Britain’s most pretentious musicians, they’re a legendary art-rock institution; and to everyone who ever recorded with them, they’re the devil. But to Andrew and Max, they represent connection, a band that fostered that one of those beautiful moments that this podcast is all about: when a stranger brings up a band you love, and you realize y’all are going to have an awful lot in common.
In truth, they’re all of those things. In proto-Radiohead fashion, they started off making hit records, catchy new wave things in the style of Tears for Fears that earned them a lot of leeway with their record label. And then as soon as they hit their biggest commercial success, they took a hard right and made two relentlessly strange albums that alienated them from their label and invented post-rock in the process.
Which makes Talk Talk the perfect band for our treatment—we get to chart that incredibly unlikely trajectory, and see if we can figure out how it could possibly make any sense. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
Also: Max’s inexplicable hatred of Tears for Fears, the latest news on Necco Wafers, and the return of our letters section!
It’s My Life
Happiness is Easy
I Don’t Believe in You
Living in Another World
Life’s What You Make It
I Believe in You
After the Flood
Japanese Shoegaze Survey Playlist