Telling the truth is hard. It’s also liberating. On her debut album, talker (the alias of indie rocker Celeste Tauchar) isn’t keeping any secrets.
Over the past five years, talker has released 3 EPs to critical acclaim, receiving nods from NPR Music, The A.V. Club, Billboard, and more. She’s toured throughout the U.S. supporting Future Teens, Smidley (Conor from Foxing), and Party Nails, and has done co-headlining tours with Lady Pills, Maddie Ross, and Lou Roy. In July 2023, she hosted a weekly residency at the Love Song in Los Angeles, performing a different body of work at every show. When it comes to creating a community around her work and a platform to be heard, talker hasn’t left any stone unturned.
But when it came to uncovering every side of herself, talker felt she was still holding back. During a particularly tumultuous year that included ending a 5-year relationship, discovering her own bisexuality that she had pushed down due to her Mormon upbringing, and coming face to face with unprocessed childhood trauma, she took, as usual, to writing. But this time was different. There were no topics left unexplored, nothing left unsaid for fear of hurting someone’s feelings, and no words left unwritten for the sake of avoiding an uncomfortable emotion. There was only one thing that mattered: the truth.
The eleven songs that make up talker’s debut album are some of her most honest songs - from the raging angst-filled “TWENTYSOMETHING” (a fitting accompaniment to today’s female-driven punk songwriters like illuminati hotties, Speedy Ortiz, and Wet Leg) where the listener gets to be pissed off without justification, to more confessional, self-examining ballad “Easygoing”, which will leave listeners realizing that their parents’ relationship made them unable to accept intimacy or date in a healthy way (spoken from personal experience).
Other standout tracks from the album include the Talking Heads-inspired “Everything is Something (I Never Saw Coming)”, full of zany production elements including singing inside of a tom drum and surreal lyrics alluding to how bizarre everyday life can feel; the hook-heavy “Drag Your Feet” (co-written with Reade Wolcott of We Are the Union, award-winning producer/engineer Jon Graber, and Toro y Moi touring guitarist Jordan Blackmon); and “Wet”, a touching tribute to a friend going through severe medical problems that led to subsequent mental health struggles. And on the quirky interlude track “When It Starts”, talker played drums on the recording herself.
The album closer, “knowitall”, is reminiscent of some of talker’s long-standing influences including Wolf Alice and Japanese Breakfast, and is one of her most raw, emotive performances to date - the vocal was recorded one day after the end of a five year relationship.
Overall, the music feels like sharing secrets with a friend. You’ll be angry together, you’ll get your hearts broken together, and you’ll set some boundaries with your friends together, even when it’s hard.