Wednesday 14 January 2015


With no press release, promo pics, little notice and to very little fan fare (to date), Flash Talk from Glasgow released their debut album on Christmas Day 2014. Sparks To Fire is utterly sensational, I'm honestly struggling to put into words how good, how assured, ambitious, soulful, true and beautiful this album is. I'll give it a go!

Flash Talk came on to the scene a year ago with two videos for their songs Synthesise and Miracle. They then promptly disappeared to complete an album - returning as a 7-piece with a superb work of art.

Synthesise kicks in with huge synths before a beat brings in the bass. The song flows superbly but it goes up a notch towards the end with the glorious 'every time you touch me' section with stunning harmonies before a laser brings everything back in.

Try to catch your breath.

Automatic is kind of Bowie meets Kraftwerk produced by Arthur Russell. A robot love song. The production throughout the album is crystal clear. The Kraftwerk style section sends warm tingles down my spine.

Automatic when I needed you (x3)
Automatic when I needed you (x3)
Automatic when I needed you (x3)

The love you take will make or break you
The love you take, the love you make

The album cover is apt, this is a band reaching for the stars. Miracle is the kind of song that Coldplay would kill for. The closing 1 minute and 20 seconds is like nothing else you will have heard all year - reaching for the stars and jetting past them to Mars.

Tiny Little Sparks is explosive, the beautiful guitar riff bringing a sense of calm before the menacing bass and beat kick in and the chorus makes you punch the air in delight. A soaring anthem with a Who style breakdown before the riff lifts you into the stratosphere.

Did I mention the production - listen to We're All Cruel on headphones, it is an incredible song with production to match. The funky bass and beats that kick in on the second verse are incredible. The closing outro screams remix.

I never share my dreams when I'm awake
Cause I dream of escape

Land of the Lost Cause is a magical, mystery poem, cinematic in terms of lyrics and feeling. The explosion back into life at 2 minutes and 45 seconds is spine tingling.

The burst of energy that is urges a love to Run to the Horizon on the chorus of the song is infectious. You feel like you are wanting the characters in this song (and the album) to make it, to get away, to escape.

If this fire ever, ever flickers out
I'll be singing of a lost cause til the end of time
Let's run to the horizon
We're on fire, fire, now

Sparks to Fire is currently my favourite song on a very strong album, starting with a spoken word sample before developing into something quite remarkable, full of ambition. Unrushed, beautiful vocals with real feeling, it just gets better and better as it goes on and with each listen.

Run to the Horizon and Sparks To Fire are both over 5-minutes long and feel like they are the real centrepiece of the album.

The album is full of love, hope, fear, a sense of something better being out there but being along; Whispering Song contains many of these themes and is as assured and soulful as the rest of the album.

We were living a different life
We were fighting a different fight
You were never at my side when you saw the light
Who are you to hold me in your arms?

The album closes with Fire Went Out, a gorgeous acoustic soul ballad. The closing section is just magical and could bring a tear to a glass eye, taking on a gospel/americana flavour.

We are lazy dreamers, we don't know when our fire went out

Quite an incredible album. No gigs have been announced to date so simply enjoy the album for the time being by visiting Flash Talk at Bandcamp.

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