Single Review: Talos – Odyssey

By on Monday, 6th March 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Brendan Canty

Known to his mum as Eoin French, the Cork-based singer/songwriter Talos arms himself with a mic and an electric guitar. However, his music is far from your typical singer/songwriter. Although his voice is reminiscent of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, with hints of Australian Matt Corby within his vocal melodies, Talos blends emotive lyrics with sorrowful chords, along with the punch and liveliness of electronic music. Talos has recently released a brand new single titled ‘Odyssey’, taken from his upcoming debut album.

‘Odyssey’ is an introspective song that confronts the thoughts and feelings experienced through self-doubt and the feeling of triumph over these thoughts. In his own press release, Talos explains, “in any endeavour we find ourselves at the point of doubt. Those moments where you question yourself … it’s a beautiful and testing cycle.” I believe Talos has captured these feelings accurately, elegantly representing them in a song.

It begins with a slow swell of arpeggiating synths and light, swirly pads. French enters with the line “unloosen the sky, and suffer the sights” simultaneously with his guitar playing, extended third chords that add to the fragility of Talos’ delicate lyrics. A slow building intro mirrors and extends throughout the entirety of the song. For its 4 minutes and 45 seconds run time, the song continuously builds by layering textures on top of one another, showcasing how the simple three chord structure can masterfully develop into a beautiful spectacle of sound. These compositional devices help in strengthening the focal point of the track, French’s lyrics and vocal melodies.

What begins with the hint of a drum pattern in the first chorus leads to the introduction of an accompanying piano melody in the subsequent verse, meandering around the chords and taking your ear on a detour. Just as these elements begin to develop, we’re met with a sudden drop in intensity, revealing a whole new side to the song. Before any endeavour, there is a period of preparation, and Talos represents this period with a stripped-back bridge section.

Very little accompanies French’s lyrics as he reaches the turning point over the aforementioned thoughts of self-doubt. The lyric “now I’m wading water” becomes the driving force behind the track as we suddenly become sonically immersed in a wall of pulsating synths. The song begins to build again, but this time with the newly established feeling of triumph. Finally, with the total takeover of a lead synth line that mimics the vocal melody, the song concludes. We’re left with the feeling of accomplishment and self-belief having been taken on an emotional journey via conventional harmony and a surprisingly bright synth line.

8.5/10

‘Odyssey’ is the newest single from Southern Irish artist Talos and is available now. His debut album ‘Wild Alee’ due for release on the 21st of April. To catch Talos live, go here for a list of dates in his upcoming Irish tour.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIKuDnU5WPk[/youtube]

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