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

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If you’re craving the elegant dreamy haze of Glass Animals, the otherworldliness of Björk and the elated, pop charm of Kylie, all wrapped up with a sense of North East fun, look no further than electro duo Talk Like Tigers

Newcastle-based twin sisters Charlotte and Stephanie are the rising stars of the North East‘s pop scene. Their sound is rooted in accessible and endearing pop tendencies, but sparkles with enough tight harmonies, introspective lyricism and swirling synths to really establish this sound as their own. “We always aim to have an original sound that takes people away from the real world. Somewhere they can be themselves and believe in themselves.” They proclaim. 

The duo are poised to release a double EP this month, which will act as a collection of everything the twosome have achieved up to this stage. They explain that the double release acts as a showcase for two distinct sides of their personalities and sound. “The songs on Passion Fruit are about love, lust, vulnerability, possibilities, love games and taking back your heart from people who don’t deserve it. Feminine Power is a collection of songs about power, following your dreams, femininity and strength.” This division between the two sides of the duo is palpable throughout the releases, both lyrically and musically, with each EP brilliantly utilising a different selling point of the band’s appeal, they craft two separate yet very compelling sounds.

Entering into Passion Fruit, you are greeted by a blanket of warm harmonies weaved over growing and shrinking wells of drum machines and synths. As the instrumental dances around the vocals, the track is lyrically forward, placing the emphasis on the duo’s songwriting and harmonies. As the song addresses themes of brokenness and rebuilding, the tender song is indicative of the EP’s  following tracks. “We are passionate about our songwriting and we hope that our songs inspire and connect with people.” They explain. “We want our music to make people FEEL, whether that’s admitting their love for someone, celebrating their self love or allowing themselves to be vulnerable. It’s sometimes scary to write such personal songs. It’s amazing when people really connect with them and sing the lyrics back to us when we perform live.” 

We want our music to make people FEEL, whether that’s admitting their love for someone, celebrating their self love or allowing themselves to be vulnerable

With vulnerability such a prominent theme in the band’s opening EP,  the stark change of contrast in the second chapter is a thrilling change of pace. “We wanted to explore the two quite opposite feelings and see how we could put them together. We definitely believe you can be strong by showing your vulnerabilities.” The themes established of love, loss and vulnerability are still present, yet now they’re crafted into an asset; self love, openness and power are the dazzling headlines across the release. “They are really authentic feelings for us and we think people can identify them within themselves. A good love song resonates, it comes from an authentic place and stays away from cliches. It expresses feelings you’re feeling right now, have felt in the past or you would like to feel.” 

The project allows for these universal experiences to be explored for both the pain and the power they can bring. Vulnerability is never seen as a weakness, love is never seen as damning. The duo work at giving all the subjects they address a sense of respect, patience and understanding which demonstrates their skill as songwriters

The music on the second EP shows the project’s character arc growing to its most confident. Inundated with pounding drums and glitzy, shameless glamour, opening track Annabel’s Calling captures attention from the go and is a triumphant example of the duo at their most fun; channelling Marina & the Diamonds and shades of every bubblegum diva before her, the track is utterly euphoric. “When we made the music video with Eddy Maynard, we had so much fun and we’re really happy with the outcome. Annabel’s Calling is based on two people, a character in This Is The Place by Maggie O’Farrell and also our sister, Annabel! We loved the character so much and really relate to her and our sister has worked really hard in her career, following her dreams like the character in the book. We planned for the song and the video to reflect Annabel, so it had to be glamorous, fun and super entertaining with lots of smoke and dance moves! We absolutely adore synths and wanted it to be an upbeat anthemic song!” 

After the release of the double EP, the duo jump into action taking the songs on tour, with big shows at iconic venues including Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Salford’s The Lowry and Glasgow’s Glee Club, the twins promise a night filled with “lots of vocal harmonies, synths, drum pads, dance moves, neon and sparkly outfits and maybe even some live looping!” They’ll bring the show back to their home turf on Friday 16th September with a headline gig at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House.  

Talk Like Tigers are quickly establishing themselves as one of the front runners in Newcastle’s pop scene, gaining traction with plays on BBC Introducing and garnering attention from their performances across the country. With their credentials established, the sisters are poised and ready for big things, and with the EP’s release and upcoming tour, 2022 is undoubtedly the year of the tiger.

Talk Like Tigers release the Passion Fruit/Feminine Power EPs on 27th May. They play Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle on Friday 16th September.


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