Interview: Talk Like Tigers | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Samantha Orton

Newcastle’s alt-pop duo, Talk Like Tigers (consisting of twin sisters Charlotte & Stephanie Walker) produce music which is vivid, harmony-rich and filled with pulsating rhythms and catchy hooks. Their latest offering, Protection (out now) sees the band produce an eighties inspired sound, reminiscent of the likes of Tears For Fears, complete with punchy bass and emotional, heartfelt lyrics.

We caught up with the sisters to find out about the single and how they are getting on in these unprecedented times.

How has lockdown been treating you? What have you done to keep spirits high?
Lockdown is really strange… we are disappointed about our gigs being cancelled and also worried about the virus… but thinking about the positives of this situation, it has given us precious time to work on new music and lyrics. 

Towards the beginning of lockdown we performed for Pxssy Pandemique, an Instagram festival started by Self Esteem to raise money for Women’s Aid. It was surreal to perform to a phone, but it was really great to do it!

We will be doing some live stream gigs/discussions on our Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live during lockdown. The first of which will be a listening party on Thursday 7th May at 6:30pm for our single release Protection. We will then be performing a live stream, including Protection on Thursday 21st May also at 6:30pm!

We’ve never used Zoom and HouseParty so much! So many quizzes… SO MANY…with our friends and family. It’s been interesting to catch some live videos – we’re loving seeing other musicians’ studios.  

Last week we walked around 10 miles into Newcastle and back – it was unreal seeing the centre of Newcastle so quiet (and it was tough not being able to go into the shops!). Home workouts and yoga are helping to keep us feel energised and inspired. We weren’t well at the beginning of lockdown and Disney plus definitely provided some escapism! Watching films, and taking the time to read that book we started months ago. 

Describe your sound. Which artist would you say have been an influence on your music?
We describe our sound as evocative synth-pop with sibling harmonies and soundscapes glittered with quirky rhythms & infectious hooks. 

Our influences span from Destiny’s Child and Beyonce to Bat for Lashes, Roisin Murphy, Little Dragon, Lykke Li and Glass Animals.

Tell us about your new single Protection. What’s it about? Where was it recorded?
Protection is one of our favourite songs we’ve written to date. It has an 80s punchy bassline and drums, alongside meaningful lyrics; Protection is both delicate and dance-worthy. Protection is a deeply personal song which we wrote about two people very close to us losing family members. We wanted to protect them from the pain they were going through and reopen their hearts to the beauty of the world.

It was a really difficult time and being able to write about it helped us a lot! We get really emotional when we perform it live

Protection started with lyrics we wrote whilst on holiday, we recorded the idea on our phones and then recorded the song in Blaydon with Chad Male from Cape Cub.

What is the songwriting process?
We like to write songs whilst hugging pineapples and having our feet massaged by kittens. We have lots of ideas recorded on our phones, so we sift through them to develop them further, or we jam over chords we play on keys / guitar, or a bass line and come up with music and lyrics from that. We’re always writing lyrical ideas down. Sometimes one of us will sing an idea that really stands out to the other, we will add a harmony, and if that sounds good, we know we have the start of a good song!

Being in the countryside or by the sea really inspires us. We can’t wait to get to a beach!

Have you got anything else in the pipeline for 2020? 
We will be releasing new singles every other month. We’re going to be asking our fans to vote on their favourite t-shirt designs for our single Protection, so we’d love it if you could get involved on our socials to help us out!

Later this year, we’ll be going on a UK wide support tour performing at venues including Shepherds Bush Empire and perform at festivals including Standon Calling. We’re also planning our own UK tour, so keep your eyes peeled for details, we can’t wait to be out gigging again… soonish. Stay safe everyone x


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