Photo credit Derek Perlman
Los Angeles band The Paranoyds have returned back from whatever galactic realm they ventured to for the release of their sophomore album, Talk Talk Talk; a collection of sounds so other-worldly to satisfy the curious side of the soul. The now earth-bound band kicked off their US tour on September 13th, then making their way to the UK on November 23rd. More tour dates and details below.
The album opens with an electric rock tune, ‘BWP’, a melting pot of youthful and upbeat components; a playful drum beat and a funky bassline, with punchy guitar and keyboard sounds that revive the sci-fi excitement of new wave. All these components melt together to create a concoction with the quality of curiosity and youth, the quality of longing for a place that isn’t restricted by gravity. A quality that is similar to the sounds of Devo, the Go-Go’s, Missing Persons and other new wave and art rock royalty.
What differs The Paranoyds from other bedroom pop LA bands is their unbreakable bond with one another. Unlike your typical college dorm room creation, Laila Hashemi (keys/vocals) had been friends with Lexi Funston (guitar/vocals) since preschool. They then met Staz Lindes (bass/vocals) in 9th grade and began making music in high school before finally forming the band when drummer, David Ruiz, joined in 2015.
Their friendship with one another is deeply apparent in their sounds, as harmony between bandmates becomes harmony between instruments. Throughout the album, there is a sense of mutual understanding between these instruments; rather than just playing together they talk to one another, and the tone of conversation changes with the tone of the song.
Other than the instrumental banter, the tone of the album changes through lyricism. ‘Freak Out’, the track that inspired the title ‘Talk Talk Talk’, is about ‘having a big ol’, out-of-control, teenage crush’ according to guitarist and vocalist, Lexi Funston. Though most tracks on the album emit the feeling of naivety and wonder, the feeling of teenage irrationality and stupidity, there are also moments of poignance and intimacy. For example, Staz Lindes reflects on losing two of her friends within two years on the track ‘Typing’; Staz explains how
"It’s like reminiscing on the times with them and how intense it is when you find out someone you care about passes away".
Artwork photo credit: JJ Stratford / Album design credit: Jordan Williams
The album itself is a product of the life-altering changes the Paranoyds experienced throughout the pandemic. The creative process began in April of 2020, where they had crashed at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. They found themselves restricted from showers and air conditioning for a week; though these restrictions tested their friendship, these restrictions also allowed them to immerse themselves in experimentation and creativity. When listening to the album, there is a feeling that the band members are losing themselves in their music, finding freedom in their sound where there is restriction in their surroundings.
The album is proof that creativity emerges when times are at their toughest, and teaches us to appreciate the hardships within our friendships, as they only make the bond stronger. It encapsulates the emotional rollercoaster that is being a young person and is particularly relatable to the young people undergoing the overwhelming experience of the pandemic. Bassist and vocalist Staz Lindes comments,
‘We were able to overcome something super scary together and kept a dream alive that at times felt irrelevant and unattainable. And damn it was fun!’