Various Seasides


Independent release, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An extremely talented multi-instrumentalist who got his start in the always exciting Portland, Oregon indie-rock scene, Kevin O'Connor calls Brooklyn home these days, and this anticipated fifth album arrives after much soul-searching through the pandemic, which left him without a job composing for commercials and branded content. Somewhat of a return to form, he resurrects Talkdemonic as a solo entity for these 13 tracks, where O'Connor plays everything, and flawlessly. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Barely Dawn” opens the listen with flowing acoustic guitar, bright synth and crashing drums that offer a calm versus hectic dynamic, and this creativity spills into the hypnotic and lush keys of “Playland,” which tips its hat to shoegaze.

“Night Walk” arrives in the middle and places very sophisticated piano amid swift drumming, plus a hazy, cinematic quality, while “Mile Distant” is a mesmerizing display of soft drums, melodic keys and dreamy bouts of prettiness. “Time Conscious,” one of the album’s best, then finds a soothing groove to reside in, where the focus on drums is greatly appreciated.

The deeper tracks are equally enjoyable, and include the very harmonic textures of “Catskill/Autumn Blaze,” though it’s the chilling, ominous and ambient ebbs of “Abandoned City” that really makes an indelible impression, especially with its gentle piano.

The final two tracks, “Dead Composers” and “Various Seasides,” are packed with much creativity, too. The former is full of upbeat and soaring post-rock nods, and the latter is awash in a blurry bout of ethereal post-gaze.

The influences that Talkdemonic pulls from are wide and varied. I was reminded of Brian Eno, Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine, Dirty Three and Black Moth Super Rainbow, to name a few. Ultimately, though, O’Connor occupies a space all his own, and his distinct sonic dreamscape makes this body of work just perfect.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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