Windsor, Ontario based alternative shoegaze quartet TALKING VIOLET have rec ently shared their much anticipated debut album Tell Your Friends You Love Them, recorded in Toronto at Chalet Studios (Rush) with production and mixing by 2021 Juno Award nominee Justin Meli (Dizzy, The Trews). Melding the best elements of shoegaze, grunge, alternative rock and dream-pop into a sound that is equal parts an homage to the greats of each genre and an original statement that highlights the bands mature approach to songwriting, TALKING VIOLET present themselves as a true creative force to be reckoned with.
Today we’re stoked to give you a special insight into the record through the band’s track by track commentary below. Play it loud, learn more about their craft and let’s hope they finally get to perform these songs in the flesh more frequently, because that’s where the magic really happens.
Consisting of Jill Goyeau (vocals, guitar) Jay Turnbull (guitar, vocals), Nate Blackton (bass, vocals) and Jeremie Brousseau (drums), TALKING VIOLET grew from their roots as a vibrant duo and blossomed into a full quartet in 2017. Ready to push the boundaries of their genre, the band has steadily been releasing singles and videos since their 2018 EP “Round Dreams”. TALKING VIOLET has spent the last 3 years perfecting their ability to create music that transports the listener to a sonic dreamland.
Singles “Superego” and “Indigo” showed the bands range, oscillating between angular 90s’ alternative akin to The Smashing Pumpkins and lush soundscapes that might remind you of My Bloody Valentine. “Slowdance” and “Delusional” highlight the pop elements of the band along with vocalist Jill Goyeau’s sublime but powerful vocals.
The band has this to say about the release of their new album: “Really, it’s surreal that this record is finally out in the world. This has been like our secret baby since 2019, with everything that has happened between then and now, it is cathartic to be able to share its story with everyone at last. Tell Your Friends You Love Them is about our friends and ourselves. It reflects a lot on the experience of navigating a world of anxiety while trying to be respectful of others’ turmoils as well. It is a record that wants to be heard but also listen, a lot. We were trying to figure ourselves and each other out in much of the writing process.”
The band will be supporting their new album with several shows planned throughout the remainder of the year, with additional Canadian and USA dates planned for 2022.
Gold is about the struggles of accepting who I am as a person. When I wrote this song I was living my life extremely outside of my own head, I was questioning all my emotions and intuition, all the while letting it affect my behaviour. I think a lot of people experience this same disillusionment at some point in their lives, we’re all human and this realization is a very normal one. Listening to this song, I am very proud of the person I am shaping up to be today.
On a literal level, Indigo is an illustration of nervousness about performance or anxiousness in general, the moments when you feel like you are surrounded by white noise and can barely tell what your limbs are doing. Looking back on situations like these are usually a blur for me, but I wrote Indigo because the day that I am referring to had so many tiny moments that I found really reassuring and clear to reflect on. Growing up I used to make little mental lists in my mind of things that I had heard people say, or moments in time that had certain feelings that I never wanted to forget. Kind of like verbal “affirmations” that happened in real time, when I thought to myself “I wanna remember that forever.” Basically mini mantras I suppose. Indigo is me trusting these moments and my intuition and allowing myself to lean into that experience of clarity and personal reassurance – even if it ends up being temporary
Just like everything else we experience, our relationships with people in our lives can metamorphosize overtime. One of the hardest things I have had to wrap around my mind is the acceptance of negative change in a person’s character. I truly truly believe the best in people, so even when toxic traits show themselves, I place my bets with assumptions or excuses. I rationalize things that are not mine to unpack. Delusional is a song that asks for trust, I think I am both learning to trust myself and others at different moments of the lyrics. It’s mourning a healthier relationship with someone, and the confusion/delusion that comes with that. The song concludes with wishing that person the best, which was added last minute obviously, but in relationship with the song, it was the ideal time to revisit it for me.
Caterpillar is a song about believing in hope, even when you are unsure about what lies ahead. It describes going through a time in my life where I was dealing with intense daily anxiety and felt unsure of how I was going to achieve the goals I set for myself. I was self isolating and only felt comfort around the closest people in my life, while simultaneously trying to figure everything out in my own head. Caterpillar is an ode to the people who feel unsure of the path ahead of them and a message of reassurance to everyone still trying to figure it out.
December is about trying to build communication between one another early on. At the time we wrote this song we had achieved a lot in the little time we had been together and I personally feel like, as a team, we had different ideas about what the endgame for the band was. December feels to me like the frustration of trying to get on the same page while trying to balance the opportunity in front of us.
When I was younger it was always my thing to stay far away from any situation that made me uncomfortable. I just wouldn’t even try to deal with it. When things went sideways at home and with the family, I would tend to spend more time outside the house. I thought I understood exactly what was going on there and I wanted to know part of it, but really our communication had broken down so much that no one was really hearing each other out – setting boundaries felt like talking to a wall. December is about desperately wanting to see change, and the frustration that goes along with not being able to communicate our emotions effectively.
Superego is a song about the hesitation that comes with ending a close friendship that is no longer healthy. The back and forth that goes on in your head, wondering what you did wrong, why things turned out the way they did, and accepting moving forward with your life. I wrote this song a few years ago, but at the time I was choosing to distance myself from one of my best friends. This song is more or less a letter to that person, getting all the things off my chest I didn’t say.
Growing up, I felt as though I would need different masks to fit into different groups of people. There was always this need to impress those around me but seemingly no reason. Shakes is about waking up to these patterns but not knowing what to do about it – the anxiety of feeling like I’m in the right place without any of the necessary tools to make my dreams come true.
Bloom explores the idea that through building strong connections with others, you strengthen and fully embody your own. It is an optimistic love letter dedicated to those who want to see the same results out of the time we spend together on this planet. I may be woefully optimistic but I don’t believe it’s in human nature to be cruel, greedy, or unaccepting on any level. However, I believe without empathy we can edge too close to that. With that in mind, the most important thing we can do with our time on this planet is to be kind, not only to others but ourselves. This constructivism will enable the most effective methods of our individual voices, which we use to express and defend our beliefs.
Slowdance is the ongoing effort of trying to be a comfort for someone else, and the eagerness to see them with peace of mind.
It’s having your heart broken for someone else, really. When I understand and witness with my own eyes, emotional turmoil in someone I love, I often take on an internal need to do whatever I can in my power to lift them (something I know a huge majority of people do.) It’s a consuming wish that is desperate and urgent and feels like bare hands fishing through water trying to find anything in reach. Although no one expects this of anyone, it’s hard to turn that mission off in your mind.
The first line of the song has become a bit of a mantra for me – “They can’t help if they don’t know”. It’s a reminder to myself to show vulnerability to those closest to me. I feel if I don’t, anxiety can run rampant and put all sorts of nasty thoughts in my mind, and although this song discusses my darker frames of mind, putting it into song really pushes me to reframe those emotions as I try to experience them in a healthy light. Songwriting for me has always been an exploration of self, so it makes sense that I continue to reflect so heavily on this one.
Gold 2 is acknowledging that we don’t always see what’s happening in our lives for what they are until we have time to reflect on it. When I wrote the original Gold, I wasn’t even close to understanding the changes I needed to make for myself. As I got closer to realizing that I was capable of change, I was scared. I was comfortable in my position even if my position wasn’t always in my own interests. I learned to ignore my boundaries rather than stand by them. Gold 2 feels like a really dark time in my life but it reminds me that no matter how crazy and confusing things get, I can rely on myself somewhere down the line to learn from it.