Talkhouse Podcast

Talkhouse

Your favorite musicians, filmmakers, and other creative minds one-on-one. No moderator, no script, no typical questions. The Talkhouse Podcast offers unique insights into creative work from all genres and generations. Explore more illuminating shows on the Talkhouse Podcast Network. read less

Our Editor's Take

Talkhouse Podcast introduces listeners to the voices of creative minds. Instead of journalists commenting on music and film, why not get the artists themselves to do it? Who better to hear from about music and film than the actual creators?

This approach is the modus operandi of Talkhouse, a digital media development company. It publishes reviews, essays, and columns on its website. They're all written by musicians, actors, and filmmakers.

Equally inspiring as the written content is Talkhouse Podcast. It pairs up two artists and lets them chat about whatever they'd like for anywhere from a half hour to an hour. Usually, the medium discussed is either film or music. The pair might already know each other. Or they might admire one another's work but will be meeting for the first time. And the Talkhouse curation team comes up with some odd-couple matches, too. Often, those make for fascinating episodes.

Alana Haim and Sasha Spielberg came into their taping as friends. They were already close enough that they shared streaming service logins! In contrast, Metal singer Jonathan Davis of Korn and rapper-comedian Danny Brown were strangers. But Talkhouse knew Brown covered a Korn song in his live show, suggesting a pairing might be in order. Sure enough, they hit it off. The two even made tentative plans to collaborate on a new project by the end of their episode.

The show's premise is that artists open up more around one another than when the media questions them. Talkhouse Podcast never steers the conversations in one direction or another. Wherever the show's subjects want to go with their chats is where the show goes.

Talkhouse Podcast has received multiple Webby Award nominations. It won in 2021 for Best Live Podcast Recording for a live conversation between Black Thought from the Roots and actor/comedian Wyatt Cenac. The show does not use a host or mediator. Instead, a Talkhouse editor introduces each guest and provides background on how they chose the artists. And then, with any luck, magic moments and insightful epiphanies materialize.

read less
MusicMusic
TV & FilmTV & Film
ArtsArts
Music InterviewsMusic Interviews
Film InterviewsFilm Interviews
Performing ArtsPerforming Arts

Episodes

Marc Maron with Paige Stark
Yesterday
Marc Maron with Paige Stark
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a popular comedian, podcaster, and actor in conversation with a musician-slash-director who released their first song together earlier this year: Marc Maron and Paige Stark. Maron is of course the host of the long-running interview podcast WTF, but that’s really just the headline on a long and winding career. He was of course first known—and is still known!—as a top-tier stand-up comedian whose shows are often discursive explorations of his own psyche while also being wildly funny. He’s also an actor, having been a regular on the Netflix series GLOW and a lead in a couple of dramatic movies, including To Leslie, which comes up in this conversation, and Sword of Trust, which was directed by Maron’s girlfriend Lynn Shelton, who died unexpectedly in 2020. That fact worked its way into Maron’s latest stand-up special, last year’s brilliant From Bleak to Dark. Oh, and he also dabbles as a musician, having played guitar in bands in his school days, and keeping it up mostly as a hobby since. That’s where singer and songwriter Paige Stark comes in. A friend of Maron’s, she recruited him recently to play some "searing" guitar and duet with her on a cover of Love’s 1966 song “Signed DC.” Stark has been kicking around the L.A. music scene for years, most notably as part of the band Tashaki Miyaki, whose name is the subject of discussion in this podcast. Stark only recently began releasing music under her own name, including a bunch of singles this year that feature friends like Cherry Glazerr, Jon Brion, and of course Maron. Stark is also an actor and director who’s working on a narrative short at the moment. Busy busy. Check out the duet she did with Maron on “Signed DC.” This funny, wide-ranging conversation covers everything from the recording of this duet to Maron’s guitar setup to Stark’s substance-fueled nights out in Los Angeles. They also clearly love talking about music, dissecting everything from Nick Cave to Bob Dylan and beyond. Enjoy! 0:00 - Intro 2:27 - Start of the chat/Trying to figure out Talkhouse 8:14 - Periods of self-doubt and Maron's confidence in singing 20:16 - "I don't know that many comedians." 29:20 - Paige's party years 33:26 - "You're one of my favorite actors"—Stark 37:18 - Maron's junior high and high school bands 45:55 - New bands Maron has recently seen Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Marc Maron and Paige Stark for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the good stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Frank Turner with Billy Bragg
06-06-2024
Frank Turner with Billy Bragg
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two singer-songwriters who both come from the tradition of socially conscious folk-punk. One of them you could credit with inventing the genre, the other may be its most popular current proponent: Billy Bragg and Frank Turner. Billy Bragg is a legendary British performer who came up just after the punk boom of the late 1970s and channeled that energy into the style of a solo troubadour. His early records were massively influential to all sorts of musicians, which is no surprise given their wit, their lyrical pointedness, and how beautifully they capture the spirit of youthful engagement. But that was 40 years ago, and Bragg has created an incredible body of work that’s always expanding but never losing that kernel of truth. It got really easy to catch up with the whole thing recently, as he released a massive 14-CD box set called The Roaring Forty, which you’ll hear a little bit about in this chat. Bragg also has some US dates lined up for this July. Check out a classic Bragg track right here, one that today’s other guest references in this chat. This is “Tank Park Salute.” Frank Turner mentions that song as well as some other Bragg classics in this chat, because he’s clearly a big fan. Turner has been doing it for two decades now, and he’s an absolute road warrior: Next week will mark his 3000th gig, a big number recently aided by a world record he set in which he played 15 shows in different cities in the span of 24 hours. True to his ethic, this wasn’t a publicity stunt, but also a way to support one of the many causes he believes in—in this case the Music Venue Trust. Those shows came hot on the heels of Turner’s tenth album, Undefeated, in which he reckons a bit with getting older but remaining true to himself and the things he believes in. That feeling is perfectly encapsulated in the relatively chill “Ceasefire,” check it out. In this great chat, Bragg and Turner talk about everything from Bragg’s first US tour to their moments of musical awakening. Turner hilariously talks about his inner 15 year old giving him shit for being successful, as well as an old punk mentor who came to see him at Wembley. They talk about how activism and understanding change over the years, and how one of Bragg’s biggest songs, “Sexuality,” has morphed in this age of trans visibility. And they talk about how music—especially live music—as a chance for communion, which is something I imagine most Talkhouse listeners can relate to. Enjoy. 0:00 - Intro 3:00 - Start of the chat 4:58 - Where to look while you're on stage performing 8:04 - Who's the most famous person in Frank Turner's phone? 16:11 - How to sustain yourself in the music industry 18:50 - Turner's upcoming 3000th gig 24:24 - Frank's 15-year-old inner punk judges his current chart success 29:45 - Staying true to your 25 year old self 44:58 - People choose the wrong Frank and Billy songs for their weddings Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Frank Turner and Billy Bragg for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso) with Fabi Reyna (Reyna Tropical)
30-05-2024
Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso) with Fabi Reyna (Reyna Tropical)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a favorite repeat guest alongside a newer name you perhaps haven’t heard yet: Amelia Meath and Fabi Reyna. Meath is half of the duo Sylvan Esso, which has been crafting gorgeous electro-pop for the past decade. It’s been amazing to watch Meath and her partner Nick Sanborn grow over the years, building a catalog and fanbase with songs that are equally enjoyable on headphones and in front of massive crowds. Speaking of massive crowds, Sylvan Esso has been trying to figure out for years how to play to all the people that want to see them in their adopted hometown of Durham, North Carolina, and this weekend marks their inaugural Good Moon Festival at a minor-league stadium. They’ll be joined by other great bands including co-headliner Fleet Foxes, plus a lineup of hand-picked bands including today’s other guest, Fabi Reyna. Reyna is the driving force behind Reyna Tropical, whose debut album Malegria was recently released on the Psychic Hotline label, which is run by none other than… Sylvan Esso. Reyna has long been an advocate for women in music; she’s not only a musician herself but also founder and editor of She Shreds Media. It’s a fantastic, bouncing album that plucks influences from all over the world: Reyna is Mexican-American, and she pulls sounds from all over the Southern Hemisphere as well as West Africa and sultry pop. Check out “Cartagena” from Malegria right here. In this great chat, Meath and Reyna talk about the upcoming Good Moon festival, about how playing in front of unfriendly audiences can sometimes be helpful, about the loss of Reyna’s musical partner Nectali Diaz, aka Sumohair, the just-released tenth anniversary reissue of Sylvan Esso’s great debut album and much more. Enjoy. 0:00 - Intro 2:14 - Start of the chat 3:42 - Anxiety, a constant companion. 5:58 - What to do when the audience isn't there for you. 12:26 - On naming the Good Moon festival. 15:20 - On Amelia's favorite part of a festival. 25:48 - On overcoming imposter syndrome. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Amelia Meath and Fabi Reyna for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Craig Finn with Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent)
23-05-2024
Craig Finn with Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent)
Greetings, Talkhouse friends. Instead of a Talkhouse episode this week, I wanted to share another episode of my pal Craig Finn’s show, That’s How I Remember It, which is just starting its third season. Craig has an incredible array of guests lined up, and he’s switching to a new schedule where he’ll have new episodes every other week without a break. That means more amazing chats for you, including this one with Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck. Craig and Matt chat about the philosophy behind That’s How I Remember It—it’s a podcast about creativity and memory—as well as an early meeting between the two, Phosphorescent’s mighty “Song For Zula” and much more. I’ll be back next week with your regularly scheduled programming, but for now, give That’s How I Remember It your attention. See you next week! 0:00 - Intro 2:41 - "Do you think you have a good memory?" 3:58 - The origins of That's How I Remember It 8:43 - Craig vs. Matt's approach to songwriting 13:14 - "Do you have a first memory of music? 23:00 - "Do you connect music with seasons?" 35:53 - Craig and Matt first meeting at SXSW 2010 36:52 - "Did the Full Moon Project ... affect your own songwriting?" 43:30 - "Song For Zula" - "Did it surprise you?" 46:45 - "Has traveling/moving changed your music?" This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom) with Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers)
16-05-2024
Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom) with Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers)
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two incredible singer-songwriters who sprung from the same fertile late '80s/early '90s scene, and who are still doing it right all these years later: Joe Pernice and Bill Janovitz. Joe Pernice first found notice in the country-ish pop band Scud Mountain Boys, whose home-recorded songs landed them a deal with Sub Pop in the mid-1990s. The Scuds weren’t around super long, but their end was the beginning of the Pernice Brothers, Joe’s long-running band that continues to put out excellent, often melancholy songs. The latest Pernice Brothers album—and by the way, he’s really the only constant member at this point—is called Who Will You Believe, and it stands up there with his incredibly durable catalog. In addition to writing and playing songs, Pernice wrote a great novel a while back called It Feels So Good When I Stop, and he even had a short stint writing for TV. But for now, he’s concentrating on music. Check out “December in Her Eyes” from Who Will You Believe. The other half of today’s conversation, Bill Janovitz, has been the singer and guitar player for the band Buffalo Tom since their inception back in 1986, and while there have been quieter periods in there, they’ve consistently released records, including the new Jump Rope, which comes out on May 31. Buffalo Tom came out of the same incredible Boston/Amherst music scene that birthed Pernice Brothers, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and many more, and these guys dive right into reminiscing about those fertile days. In addition to making music, Janovitz is also something of a rock historian, having written the comprehensive Leon Russell book in recent years, as well as a volume on The Rolling Stones. His next book is about The Cars, which these guys talk about during this chat as well. Check out “Helmet” from the upcoming album Jump Rope right here. Like I said, these guys dive back into the Boston days, talking about mutual friends and collaborators like J Mascis and David Berman of Silver Jews. They also try to remember their first encounters, one of which involves Pernice being a little ornery, and they talk about selecting songs for records—and how they never know which ones people are going to react to. Enjoy. 0:00 - Intro 2:46 - Start of the chat 7:37 - Joe's legendary cousin 12:15 - Joe walks out of college and has "a mild nervous breakdown" 18:20 - "When did you meet [David] Berman?" 23:58 - "My first album was made for $60." 31:01 - Berman wants to hear Joe say the word "cocksucker." 42:12 - Craft versus hack, and writing for TV and film Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Joe Pernice and Bill Janovitz for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and make sure to check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Miki Berenyi (Lush) with Debbie Googe (My Bloody Valentine)
09-05-2024
Miki Berenyi (Lush) with Debbie Googe (My Bloody Valentine)
This week's Talkhouse Podcast brings together two important figures from the ‘90s shoegaze movement—and beyond—Miki Berenyi and Debbie Googe. Berenyi was one of the two women at the front of Lush, the powerhouse band that burned very bright from the late ‘80s to a difficult end in 1996. Their fascinating story—and much more—is told in Berenyi’s recent autobiography, the excellent Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me From Success. The book details everything from Berenyi’s childhood through a no-holds-barred look at her band’s successes and failures, from management woes to in-fighting to a stage dive on Lollapalooza that left her in literal stitches. Berenyi is about to launch a U.S. tour, her first in a while, that also marks the beginnings of a new band, the Miki Berenyi Trio. Details can be found at mikistuff.com. The other half of this conversation is Debbie Googe, best known as the bassist for My Bloody Valentine, perhaps the most legendary of the shoegaze bands. Googe was there almost from the volatile band’s start, both in their early, more rocking days—which you’ll hear a bit about in this chat—to its ongoing reunion. In the long stretches between My Bloody Valentine tours, Googe has played in other interesting bands, including Thurston Moore’s solo lineups and with Brix Smith of the Fall. Googe also recently started performing and recording more experimental music as da Googie, including a recent collaborative single with Too Many Things. As you’ll hear, Berenyi and Googe know each other from way back—from the days when their bands were small enough to be playing shows in squats, in fact. In this chat, they talk about what touring is like in Europe versus their UK home—better food in Europe—as well as Berenyi’s bandmate and partner Moose losing his passport recently. Googe tells the hilarious story of her My Bloody Valentine bandmate Bilinda Butcher auditioning for the band, which involves accidentally being interviewed for another, entirely different, job. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Miki Berenyi and Debbie Googe for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the good stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) with Claire Rousay
02-05-2024
Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) with Claire Rousay
This week's Talkhouse Podcast came together in a fun way, when a new-ish artist referenced the work of a more established band in a song, and the head of a legendary indie label thought they should meet. That sounds complicated, but don’t worry I’ll explain. Our guests are Claire Rousay and Kevin Drew. Kevin Drew is best known as one of the founders of Broken Social Scene, the influential Canadian band slash collective that’s been around for 25 years now. The band has amassed an incredible catalog that broke out with 2002’s unstoppable You Forgot It In People but all of its records reward a deep dive—as does the solo work that Drew has also released over the years. Last year he released a moving record about loss—among other things—called Aging, and as you’ll hear in this conversation, he hopes to reignite Broken Social Scene for one more run that includes some of the collective’s members that have gone on to big careers outside the band, like Leslie Feist and Emily Haines. I personally would love to see it. I imagine the other half of today’s conversation, Claire Rousay, would as well. The impetus for this conversation is her song “Lover’s Spit Plays in the Background.” In case you’re not familiar with the aforementioned Broken Social Scene album, You Forgot It In People, it features a song called “Lover’s Spit.” Rousay’s song is from her fantastic new album Sentiment, just out on Thrill Jockey Records, on which she leans more into song structure than on past releases, which have been tagged “emo ambient.” Rousay uses found sounds, hazy atmospherics, and Auto-Tune to tell sometimes crushingly depressing stories in a way that somehow turns out gorgeous. Check out “Lover’s Spit Plays in the Background” right here. This conversation ended up happening because Thrill Jockey’s Bettina Richards reached out to Drew to let him know about the nod on Rousay’s song, and the rest is history: As you’ll hear, they connected pretty quickly, and they chat about blackout curtains, influential record labels, the death of Kevin’s mom, and what Drew dubs Claire’s “beautiful, vulnerable, shadowy womb/sleeping bag of a record.” Enjoy. 0:00 - Intro 2:29 - Start of the chat 4:49 - On Claire's unusual introduction to Broken Social Scene's music 9:24 - On music as a lifesaver 13:47 - On the future of Broken Social Scene 17:35 - On being jealous of your peers 21:42 - On blackout curtains 31:27 - On signing to Thrill Jockey 36:46 - On negativity and career expectations Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Claire Rousay and Kevin Drew for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Rostam with Jason Stewart (How Long Gone)
25-04-2024
Rostam with Jason Stewart (How Long Gone)
This week’s Talkhouse Podcast is actually taken from a conversation that served as the online launch party for the second issue of our print ‘zine, The Talkhouse Reader, which was lovingly put together by Talkhouse music editor Annie Fell. The issue, which you can order at store.talkhouse.com explores the intersection of food and music, so naturally this episode does as well. Our guests are Jason Stewart and Rostam. Stewart is, along with Chris Black, the host of the popular podcast How Long Gone, in which the two discuss pop culture, fashion, and whatever else happens to come to mind, often with great guests—recent ones include Jenny Lewis, Waxahatchee, and Isaac Brock—but frequently just the two of them gabbing like better-read versions of your hippest friends. They’re part of the fabulous Talkhouse Podcast Network, and you can catch the How Long Gone guys live this June if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the cities they’ll be visiting. Tour dates and their deep catalog of episodes can be found on their site. Today’s other guest is Rostam, who’s best known as a co-founder of Vampire Weekend and co-architect of that band’s sound. Rostam left Vampire Weekend a few years ago to pursue solo and production work, and he’s kept plenty busy. He made a great record with Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen as well as a fully solo record called Changephobia—you may have heard him on the Talkhouse Podcast talking about it with Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast. He’s released a few standalone songs recently as well, and as always he’s a thoughtful conversationalist with something interesting to say. Since this conversation is focused largely on food, you can expect to hear about Rostam’s egg habits, a killer salmon recipe, and some talk about Rostam’s mom, who’s a well known chef of Persian food who once went toe-to-toe with Martha Stewart. Enjoy, and please check out the Talkhouse Reader issue two at store.talkhouse.com. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jason Stewart and Rostam for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was put together by Annie Fell and edited by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Local Natives with Peel
18-04-2024
Local Natives with Peel
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a whopping four guys representing three bands, more or less: Ryan Hahn and Nik Ewing from Local Natives and Sean Cimino and Isom Innis from Foster the People but, perhaps more importantly for purposes of this chat, their side project Peel. Local Natives have been around since around 2005, but it wasn’t until their debut album Gorilla Manor hit shelves in 2009 that the California band had its first real moment. They rode a similar wave to bands like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear, with bits of folk and punk and psychedelia all wrapped up in songs that are frequently undeniable earworms. They’ve built a really impressive catalog since, and the sessions for 2023’s Time Will Wait For No One were so fruitful that they actually yielded a companion record that’s just coming out now, called But I’ll Wait For You. It’s another gorgeously layered set of songs that feels even a little weirder than what came right before it. Check out the song “April” right here. The other half of this conversation is Sean Cimino and Isom Innis, who are best known as part of Foster the People, which had a huge hit straight out of the gate in 2010 with “Pumped Up Kicks,” and which has been chipping away at incredible pop-inflected songs since. But Cimino and Innis recently released their debut album under the name Peel, which takes a much more psychedelic approach to songs, creating dancey dream-pop that sometimes looks back at the ‘90s through some gauzy glasses. Check out one of the dancier tracks from Peel’s album Acid Star right here. This is called “Y2J.” In this chat, these old friends immediately head into a conversation about the relative merits of U2 and other bands that you should or should not be ashamed to love. They also chat about their history together, which goes way back, and of course about their latest records. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Sean Cimino, Isom Innis, Nik Ewing and Ryan Hahn for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Jeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers) with Gregory Alan Isakov
11-04-2024
Jeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers) with Gregory Alan Isakov
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two powerhouses in what I guess you might call modern indie-folk, though it’s a lot more than that: Gregory Alan Isakov and Jeremiah Fraites. Fraites is, along with Wesley Schultz, a founding member of the Lumineers, the band whose simple-yet-powerful take on folky Americana has been met with pretty massive success over the past couple of decades. The band’s catalog goes deeper than massive hits like “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love,” songs you’ve probably heard even if you’re not super familiar with the band. The Lumineers’ latest album is 2022’s Brightside, but that’s not Fraites’ latest: He just released his second solo album of intriguing, fantastic instrumental piano pieces—a big departure from the sound of his main gig, but great nonetheless. It’s called Piano Piano 2—you can probably guess what the first one was called—and it stretches into even more cinematic territory than the first. Plus, it features a guest vocal from the other half of today’s conversation. Gregory Alan Isakov may seem like an overnight sensation, but the Colorado-based singer-songwriter has been plugging away—sometimes quietly—for nearly two decades, building a fanbase for his intimate songs over the course of seven albums. His latest, Appaloosa Bones, came out late last year, and as you’ll hear in this chat, the songs ended up being a bit more fleshed out than those on his past records. He’s on tour now, and he’s featured on the new Noah Kahan single as well. So yeah, kind of a big deal. Oh, and as I mentioned a minute ago, he collaborated with Jeremiah Fraites recently, on a cover of Radiohead’s classic “No Surprises.” Check out a bit of the magic they wrung from making the song their own. In this chat, Fraites and Isakov talk about how songwriting never gets easier—sorry, budding songwriters—about Isakov’s teenage obsession with the Nintendo game Metroid, and what that has to do with music, and about finding intimate sounds in massive places like Red Rocks, aka the best venue in the universe. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jeremiah Fraites and Gregory Alan Isakov for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Joe Steinhardt and Marissa Paternoster (Screaming Females) with Jo Firestone
04-04-2024
Joe Steinhardt and Marissa Paternoster (Screaming Females) with Jo Firestone
On this week's Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a rare trio episode for you, since two of our guests created something very cool together: Jo Firestone, Marissa Paternoster, and Joe Steinhardt. I’ll start with Jo Firestone, the actor, writer, comedian, podcaster, game inventor, and probably some other stuff that I’m forgetting, who you may have seen on the show Joe Pera Talks With You or, like a million other things. She’s done stand-up specials and albums, she’s written for The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and she hosts the game-centric podcast Dr. Gameshow. Firestone is currently the head writer on After Midnight, the comedy/game show hybrid that airs late every night on CBS. In other words, she’s busy. But not too busy to chat with her friends Marissa Paternoster and Joe Steinhardt about their new graphic novel, Merriment. You may recognize Paternoster are the singer and guitarist for the amazing, recently broken up band Screaming Females, and Talkhouse readers and listeners may even recognize her illustrations, which have appeared on the site over the years. Paternoster continues to make music, but the focus of this chat is Merriment, her first graphic novel. Paternoster put her eerie, singular images to a story by her old friend Joe Steinhardt, head of the long-running independent label Don Giovanni Records, which has been home to a number of incredible bands over the past two decades, including Screaming Females. These three have a fun, loose chat about Merriment, which in case I didn’t say it yet, you should definitely check out, as well as Steinhardt’s not-so-secret desires to be a comedian, Paternoster’s can’t-fail movie idea, how Firestone was once tasked with selling St. Louis pizza with a New York attitude, and a game I’d never heard of called “Somebody Pooped in the Salad.” Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jo Firestone, Marissa Paternoster, and Joe Steinhardt for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
John Grant with CMAT
28-03-2024
John Grant with CMAT
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two songwriters whose music bursts with personality, but in oddly different ways: CMAT and John Grant. CMAT is the stage name/alter ego of Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, who’s already hit it pretty big in her native Ireland with funny, frank, and flamboyant songs about break-ups and time travel and everything in between, I guess you might say. She was recently nominated for a BRIT Award for Best International Artist—she wore a jaw-dropping dress to the ceremony—and her second album, Crazymad, For Me went to number one in her home country as well. Now she’s ready to take on the States a bit, to see if her music—queer-friendly, over-the-top pop—can make as big a splash here. Check out “Where are Your Kids Tonight,” which features today’s other guest John Grant, and catch CMAT on tour in the US right now. Dates are at cmatbaby.com. John Grant is a tough guy to explain: On the surface, his music can sound like party-friendly electro-pop, but the themes and lyrics run deep and often pretty intense. Grant started out in the Denver band The Czars, but it wasn’t until he spread his wings as a solo artist—starting with 2010’s Queen of Denmark, which he made with help from members of the band Midlake—that he really found his unique voice. Since then it’s been a series of fascinating records with a series of fascinating collaborators, including Cate Le Bon, who produced his 2021 album Boy From Michigan. Grant just announced the release of his sixth album, The Art of The Lie. It comes out in June, and it promises a no-punches-pulled look at America in 2024, yet with some funk to help ease the medicine. Check out the song “It’s a Bitch” right here, and you can pre-order the whole record at johngrantmusic.com. In this conversation, Grant and CMAT have pretty dissimilar demeanors—she’s brash, he’s a more quiet sort of intense—but it works: Clearly these two are fans of each other’s work, as you’ll see, and they have a great chat about language, the ugliness of social media—especially for queer and/or female artists—and CMAT’s ass crack, which was “pixelated by the Daily Mail.” Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to John Grant and CMAT for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Live at On Air Fest: Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) with Randall Poster
21-03-2024
Live at On Air Fest: Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) with Randall Poster
This week’s Talkhouse episode was recorded live at the On Air Festival in Brooklyn recently—that explains why you’ll hear some audience questions at the end—and it features Hamilton Leithauser and Randall Poster, two interesting guys who were just meeting for the first time. Leithauser is best known as the frontman for The Walkmen, the New York band that put out a string of incredible records between 2000 and 2013 before going on a hiatus that lasted a decade—they reunited for a tour last year and have some festival dates lined up for this year. But Leithauser kept plenty busy during the band’s downtime, releasing three great records on his own—and he’s apparently got another one just about ready to go. Perhaps more relevant to this conversation, at least a bit, is the fact that he’s recently gotten into making music for film and TV. Avid Talkhouse listeners will remember that he was on the podcast last year talking with Ethan Hawke about a Paul Newman documentary they worked on together. Leithauser’s latest project in that realm is music for a doc series that just premiered at Sundance, and he also just finished up his yearly residence at the posh Cafe Carlyle. You may not immediately recognize the name of today’s other guest, but Randall Poster has almost certainly played you a song that you love at some point over the past few decades. As the go-to music supervisor for some incredible filmmakers, he’s helped set the mood for more than 200 movies. Perhaps most notably Poster has worked repeatedly with Wes Anderson, a director for whom the soundtrack is massively important. Watch the credits next time you love the song choices in a movie, and you might just see his name. Poster also recently curated a huge 20-LP box set called The Birdsong Project Collection, which you’ll hear about in this chat as well. Elsewhere, Leithauser and Poster talk about their jobs, about other podcasts—including one they had in common, called Call Your Grandmother. They get into the story of how Poster got into his unusual profession, and Leithauser talks about a Springsteen cover he recorded that may never see the light of day. Leithauser also talks about the time the presence of Christian Bale basically ruined a Walkmen show, though he can’t quite remember the movie it was surrounding: Guys, it was Terrence Malick’s already-kinda-forgotten film Song To Song. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Hamilton Leithauser and Randall Poster for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time! This episode is brought to you by DistroKid. DistroKid makes music distribution fun and easy with unlimited uploads and artists keep 100% of their royalties and earnings. To learn more and get 30% off your first year's membership, visit: distrokid.com/vip/talkhouse
Ben Kweller with Brendan Benson
14-03-2024
Ben Kweller with Brendan Benson
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of songwriters who broke out in the ‘90s and early 2000s and have had fruitful careers since—and who happen to be old pals—Ben Kweller and Brendan Benson. As you’ll hear in this chat, Kweller got his rock life started early, learning guitar as a teenager and hustling hard for gigs in the small Texas town where he grew up. His first band, Radish, got a big record deal while Kweller was still a kid, and while they never exactly blew up, there’s definitely some love out there for the band’s early records. Kweller went solo in the early 2000s with the classic album Sha Sha, which was an early release on Dave Matthews’ record label ATO—and which last year got the deluxe anniversary reissue treatment. He’s had a run of great solo records since, and was in a supergroup called The Bens with Ben Folds and Ben Lee. He also started a music collective called The Noise Company, which is a sort of hybrid studio/management/record label. They’re having a big blowout at this year’s South by Southwest, so if you’re down there, it’s at the Mohawk on March 15. Check out a little bit of a great Kweller song right here, “American Cigarettes.” Brendan Benson, as you’ll hear in this chat, is a bit older than Kweller, but he’s had a similarly remarkable career. Benson’s debut solo album came out back in 1996, but if you’re looking for a place to start with his driving rock songs, check out 2002’s Lapalco. Benson has eight solo albums to his credit, including 2002’s Low Key, but he might be best known as the co-frontman of The Raconteurs, along with his old friend, bandmate, and Detroit-area native Jack White. Check out a great Benson track for earlier days right here, “What I’m Looking For,” and catch him at the Noise Company showcase this weekend as well. These two old pals sound delighted to be chatting, and they jump right into an unplanned episode of Car Talk—Kweller, as it turns out, might get himself a Tesla Cybertruck. They also talk a lot of the spark of creativity that led them to their chosen careers, and they each mention the embarrassing first songs they ever wrote. Kweller tells a great story about hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time as well, and Benson admits that The Three Stooges have had a huge influence on how he harmonizes. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Ben Kweller and Brendan Benson for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Revisited: Marisa Dabice (Mannequin Pussy) with Karly Hartzman (Wednesday)
07-03-2024
Revisited: Marisa Dabice (Mannequin Pussy) with Karly Hartzman (Wednesday)
This episode originally aired on October 19, 2023. On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got two women who lead fierce, fantastic rock bands: Karly Hartzman and Marisa Dabice. Hartzman is the driving force behind the band Wednesday, which started as a solo-ish vehicle for her songs back in 2017 but has blossomed into a full band with an already-sizable catalog. Everything they’ve done is worth checking out, but it sure feels like Wednesday hit exactly what they’d always been striving for on the album Rat Saw God, which came out earlier this year. Hartzman’s lyrics are both pointed and poetic—amazing in their specificity and delivered with some serious passion, whether in a country-ish moment, or one that feels almost metal. Today’s other guest, Marisa Dabice, thinks Wednesday sounds like Black Sabbath meets Sparklehorse, which is both accurate and something that’s probably never been said about any band before. Check out “Bull Believer” from Rat Saw God. Marisa Dabice is the voice behind Mannequin Pussy, a band that’s been releasing blistering music since 2010. Just this week, Mannequin Pussy announced the release of their long-awaited fourth album, I Got Heaven, which will come out in March of 2024. Hartzman, as you’ll hear in this conversation, has already gotten a listen to the record—which was produced with John Congleton—and she loves it. The title track is already getting rave reviews for taking Mannequin Pussy’s intense punk energy and adding a bit of sweetness with some synths and a sugary chorus, but those aspects almost make it sound even more confrontational in a way. In any case, it’s awesome: Check out “I Got Heaven” right here. In this chat, these two friends talk about touring, and specifically about how unusual it can feel to perform—and how that can lead to actual tears on stage, not the most fun experience. They chat about the difference between Mannequin Pussy and Wednesday fans, and about the pressure to enjoy your success while it’s happening. Oh, and about saunas. You’ve gotta love a sauna. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Maria Dabice and Karly Hartzman for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting service, and check out all the goodness elsewhere on this site. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Bob Odenkirk with Marcellus Hall
29-02-2024
Bob Odenkirk with Marcellus Hall
I’m so excited to to share this week’s episode of the Talkhouse Podcast, which features a fascinating, deep yet kind of low-key conversation between two really talented people that you might not have expected to be paired up: Bob Odenkirk and Marcellus Hall. I’m guessing most people listening to this podcast will know who Odenkirk is. A longtime comedian and writer, he and his pal David Cross gifted the world some of the funniest TV ever created in Mr. Show With Bob And David, and if that was the only thing Odenkirk ever did, it’d be plenty. But of course the other really huge thing in his career is his portrayal of Saul Goodman on both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, two dramas that stand among some of the best TV ever. And I haven’t even mentioned his books, the movies he’s produced and directed, or the many things he’s starred in. Without Bob, there would be no motivational speaker Matt Foley from SNL or any Tim and Eric Awesome Show. He’s a legend, and he probably wouldn’t want me saying that, which makes him a legend even more. Bob has also been a huge booster for things that he loves over the course of his career, including the aforementioned Tim and Eric plus things like the Birthday Boys and the unheralded movie Girlfriends Day, which he also stars in. And Bob has been a vocal fan of today’s other guest, Marcellus Hall, for many years, too. Hall’s music career goes back to the 1990s, when he was the frontman of the band Railroad Jerk, a clattering blues-punk band whose self-titled debut was one of the first albums ever released by Matador Records. Railroad Jerk is one of those bands that never quite hit it big, but those who saw them play live—I did once, in Madison Wisconsin—never forgot it. After that band broke up, Hall started another one, called White Hassle, and eventually started releasing albums under his own name while simultaneously enjoying a career as an illustrator—he’s done a bunch of New Yorker covers and put out a really touching graphic novel a few years back called Kaleidoscope City. But this conversation was inspired by Hall’s return to music after some years away. He just released a brand new album called I Will Never Let You Down. Here’s the album’s title track, which these guys chat about. In this lengthy and intimate conversation, which took place at Hall’s New York apartment, he and Odenkirk start and end by talking about Jack Kerouac, and in between they go to a ton of interesting places. Sometimes these Talkhouse chats really feel like you’re eavesdropping, and this is definitely one of those. They talk about Hall’s work as well as Odenkirk’s, and they dive into the notion that it gets harder as you get older to find that spark of inspiration. Odenkirk admits to some feelings of imposter syndrome, even after all of his success, and they both come across as guys who are still seeking, even after all these years. It’s contemplative, but I think ultimately inspiring. This may be the last podcast you hear Odenkirk on for a while, as he’s decided to stop saying “yes” to quite as many things as he did in the past. I love that, too. So get yourself some headphones and give this one your full attention—you won’t regret it. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Marcellus Hall and Bob Odenkirk for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was recorded by Mark Yoshizumi and produced by Myron Kaplan. The Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) with Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie)
22-02-2024
David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) with Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie)
On this week's Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a very cool episode that was inspired by a very cool performance coming up in Los Angeles soon. It’s David Longstreth in conversation with Phil Elverum. Longstreth is the focal point of the band Dirty Projectors, which formed about 20 years ago in Brooklyn, and was part of a scene that kind of elevated indie-pop into something more serious and timeless. It’s been clear throughout the years that Longstreth is a musical searcher, having never been content to repeat himself. That’s led to an incredibly varied catalog that can even border on pleasantly confusing, and the huge undertaking that he’s in the midst of—and the starting point of this conversation—is no exception. About 10 years ago, Longstreth began working on what I’d guess you’d call a contemporary classical song cycle called Song of the Earth, which he performed with the ensemble stargaze a few years back. He’s since been refining and reworking the piece, and along with Dirty Projectors and the world-renowned L.A. Philharmonic, he’ll perform it on March 2 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. That’s a huge group of people and a massive undertaking—and not to be missed. At almost the opposite end of the spectrum will be that evening’s opening act, Mount Eerie, aka renowned minimalist songwriter Phil Elverum. Elverum is almost a mythical figure in indie-rock, having forged a truly unique path over the past decade, first under the name The Microphones and later Mount Eerie. His music is often deeply personal, and he’ll move from simply structured indie-folk into fully immersive lo-fi drones in ways that can confound and disarm. His catalog is wide and deep, though if you’re unfamiliar with his music, a good place to start is 2001’s The Glow Pt. 2. At this concert, he’ll not only open the show for Dirty Projectors but he’ll also—as you’ll hear—participate a little bit, because Longstreth tapped Elverum to help out on a Song of The Earth piece called “Twin Aspens.” They were nice enough to give us a preview of the piece here, so check out a little bit of a not-quite-final version of “Twin Aspens,” composed by Longstreth and with some help from Elverum. As you’ll hear in this conversation, these guys are deeply immersed in music, and certainly not just pop music. From hearing them chat I learned about Japanese Gagaku music, among other things. They also talk at length about Elverum’s incredible album-length song “Microphones in 2020,” which is essentially a history of his own evolution, with a fascinating visual to go along with it. They also talk a lot about starting the creative process with a palette in mind, which I found fascinating as well. Enjoy the chat, and if you’re in the L.A. area, I think there are a few tickets left for this once-in-a-lifetime performance on March 2. Enjoy.  Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to David Longstreth and Phil Elverum for talking. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. Annie Fell has my eternal thanks for stepping in to record it at the last minute, too. See you next time!
Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) with Gruff Rhys
15-02-2024
Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) with Gruff Rhys
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of songwriting visionaries who came to prominence in the 1990s with well respected indie bands, and who both have vital new music out now: Jason Lytle and Gruff Rhys. Lytle started making music under the name Grandaddy back in 1992. He was a pro skateboarder who found a second passion in home recording, and as you’ll hear in this chat, kind of stumbled upon some guys who helped him flesh out the sound into something both humble and grand. The first run of Grandaddy albums—including Under the Western Freeway and 2000’s classic The Sophtware Slump—felt a bit like quieter, more heartfelt cousins to the music the Flaming Lips were making at the time. After that initial run, the band eventually split up, only to reform sporadically over the years. Lytle also recorded some really fascinating solo records while also taking time—as you’ll hear—to try and leave the music world behind a little bit. But he’s been called back to the Grandaddy world with a brand new album called Blu Wav, and it’s everything you’d expect from his brain: a mixture of sweet sadness with fuzzy guitars and synths from another age. Check out “Cabin in My Mind” from Blu Wav right here. The other half of today’s conversation is Gruff Rhys, who just released his 25th album overall in a career that has spanned 35 years and taken some fascinating turns. He’s still probably best known as the frontman of the colorful, psych-leaning Welsh pop band Super Furry Animals, which was signed to the venerated Creation Records label back in the 1990s, and whose records and visuals always zigged when you thought they might zag—that’s a compliment. For his solo work, Rhys has been genre-expansive to say the least, but his brand new record, Sadness Sets Me Free, is refreshingly straightforward pop. As you’ll hear in this chat, it was recorded pretty quickly, without a lot of fuss. It doesn’t sound miles away from the new Grandaddy album, really. Check out “Bad Friend” right here. As it turns out, these two toured together a million years ago, and each has fond memories of that time—a soccer match, a special parting gift, and more. They also chat about Lytle’s preference to stay away from the madness of the big city, even as he lives perilously close to it once again as well as their tendency to make up words in their songs when the ones that exist just won’t do. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Gruff Rhys and Jason Lytle for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, the Talkhouse theme was composed and performed by the Range, and we offer special thanks this week to Keenan Kush. See you next time!
Joe Wong with Mary Timony
08-02-2024
Joe Wong with Mary Timony
Hello and welcome to the Talkhouse Podcast, I’m Josh Modell. On this week’s episode we’ve got a pair of friends who, as you’ll hear, have provided emotional support and advice to each other throughout interesting, winding careers over the past couple of decades; Mary Timony and Joe Wong. Timony is probably best known as the leader of the ‘90s indie-rock band Helium, but her catalog goes far beyond it. Prior to Helium, Timony came up in the DC punk scene as part of the band Autoclave, and after she’s been part of Wild Flag with members of Sleater-Kinney, fronted a band called Ex Hex, and released records under her own name. That’s mostly why we’re here today, because Timony is about to release her first solo record in 15 years, and it’s fantastic. It’s called Untame the Tiger, and it picks up on some of the psych elements that Timony has wrangled in the past—and even includes a guest appearance by the former drummer of Fairport Convention, Dave Mattacks, as you’ll hear in this chat. Untame the Tiger was also produced in part by today’s other guest, Joe Wong. It comes out February 23, but check out the song “Dominoes” right here. As I mentioned, today’s other guest is Joe Wong, who grew up in Milwaukee and played in indie-rock bands before finding his creative path in two amazing ways: as a composer for TV and film and as a podcast host. He’s written music for the likes of Russian Doll and Master of None, and he helms the popular podcast The Trap Set, which originated as a way to spotlight his favorite drummers, but has since expanded into deep and incredible conversations with all kinds of creative folks. But a few years back, partly at the urging of his friend Mary Timony, Wong began writing songs for himself rather than for other people’s scores. He just released his second album, Mere Survival, and while it still has late-’60s big-pop vibes, it gets even bigger and weirder than his first. It features not only Timony, but also Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron, among other guests. Check out the title track from Mere Survival right here. This conversation took place shortly after two big release shows for Mere Survival for which Wong gathered a 20-piece band, so you’ll hear a bit about that, as well as some thoughts on songwriting itself. Wong and Timony also get deep on how their parents’ illnesses brought them together, about self-sabotage and perfectionism, and much more. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Mary TImony and Joe Wong for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great written pieces at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
Dawn Richard with Torres
01-02-2024
Dawn Richard with Torres
On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of visionary artists who came from different backgrounds but ended up in the same place—sort of. Dawn Richard jumped into the deep end when she auditioned for the reality show Making the Band 3 back in 2004. She made the cut and subsequently became part of the Diddy-manufactured girl group Danity Kane, which hit it pretty big for several years. Richard then formed Dirty Money, which eventually added Diddy himself as a member. But Richard’s artistic ambitions went far beyond mainstream pop, and about 10 years ago she leaned into more experimental music—while also filling her time with a vegan food truck, representing brands, and working with Adult Swim. She’s often compared to artists like Bjork and Imogen Heap, which makes sense in that she’s always surprising her audience. In what seemed like an unusual pairing, she signed with indie powerhouse Merge Records for the universally acclaimed album Second Line. She’s subsequently released an album with sonic experimentalist Spencer Zahn, and as you’ll hear in this chat, she plans on working with him again. Check out “Babe Ruth,” which is taken from Richard’s most recent EP, The Architect. Torres—aka Mackenzie Scott—has also found a home at Merge Records, and her records—powerful, emotional indie-rock with big aspirations—are perhaps more in line with the sound the label was built on. The sixth Torres album just came out, and it’s got the best title you’ll hear all year: It’s called What an Enormous Room, and it’s the most expansive set of songs she’s ever done, with big hooks and big emotions to match that big title. Torres just kicked off a big tour that’ll take Scott and her band around the world this year, so whether you’re in Berlin or Boise, you can check them out. And you should. In the meantime, check out “Jerk Into Joy,” a song that Richard loves, as you’ll hear in this conversation. Elsewhere in the chat, Scott and Richard talk about whether full albums and bigger concepts can compete with digital singles and instant internet culture, and they get into how running is a vital part of their creative processes. Richard tells Scott that the secret to getting everything done is not sleeping, and they compare church upbringings, and how religious songs left a big impression on both. Enjoy. Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Dawn Richard and Mackenzie Scott of Torres for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting service, and check out the wide variety of other shows available on our network. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!