No rules, no boundaries
You don’t have to make something incredibly cinematic to have it resonate. So much music is overproduced.
“It’s getting a little weird in here,” Bradley Hagmann says, answering the phone from the secret studio he and the rest of the band Talkie have built in the Gilroy–Morgan Hill woods. They’ve just finished experimenting with the sound of a broom being dragged across the floor. All live in the Bay Area, though in outlying towns. “You’re close enough to be aware and influenced, but far enough to be removed,” Eric Martin observes.
The band does not believe in strict rules, and they devote time in every set to improvising. Everyone is a lead singer and everyone contributes to songwriting. They make it a point not to overcomplicate. “You don’t have to make something incredibly cinematic to have it resonate. So much music is overproduced,” Matt Hagmann says.
This cavalier attitude is evident in their music, which ranges across the mood and vocals spectrum. “Pretty” is marked with cheerful Beach Boy–like harmonies. The chorus is so catchy that it’s easy to begin singing along without having heard the whole song through. “Lavos” is guttural, angry, and seething. “Bugs” undulates like a Weezer song: cheerful and upbeat one moment, screaming and spiraling downward the next.
The members of Talkie are accomplished musicians and singers, and they’ve combined artistry with savvy business minds to help get their music heard. The hustle is proving effective. They’ve headlined San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill. Their song “Church” is featured on the opening credits of the upcoming independent film Frisky. They’ve played multiple venues throughout Los Angeles and San Francisco. They’re streamed on American Airlines, played in Starbucks, REI, and Jack in the Box, and they’re getting more spins on Pandora than they ever would have thought. “It feels very natural. In older bands, we had to fight for attention,” Bradley Hagmann reflects. “We can just be ourselves. We are being warmly received. It’s been an interesting time.”
Written by Anna Bagirov
Photography by Jaime Hagmann