Undoubtedly my favorite musical discovery of 2008, I first came across the genius of talons' main man Mike Tolan at the end of 2007, via a version of the truly amazing Tolan original, "Fuck Everything" played by Six Parts Seven (a band with which Tolan is a sometime member) on their Daytrotter session. After the song became a constant for me at the beginning of 2008, I began to do some digging and subsequently contacted Tolan via talons' myspace page offering to buy anything and everything he had committed to tape. He sent me a handful of hand-made, self released titles, including one of my albums of last year 'Songs For Babes', and to my delight the quality of the initial song that sparked my interest was repeated throughout everything that I heard.
Talons' primarily make beautifully crafted lo-fi recordings, short, concise songs presented with spare, but brilliantly executed instrumentation, ambient background noise, tape hiss and hushed vocals.
Tolan explains the bands concept in a document that accompanies all of talons' recordings (which he has made available for free online):
"The idea was to write folk songs, but not in the normal way. I love folk music, but I have some problems with it too. Mainly the idea of 'Song structures" is confining and makes for some boring songs.." "I write deconstructed folk songs, often without a chorus or maybe without more than one verse: direct songs that get to the point and then end. I feel that every word and note should have a purpose or be removed."
Download: The "complete" talons' library
talons' on Myspace
Support The Artist. Buy.Buy.Buy.
Previously on SOTR: Sweetheart Of The Radio: Albums of the year 2008