Partially inspired by Prince’s “Let’s Get Crazy”, singer-songwriter Edson Choi and multi-instrumentalist Mike Nissen’s latest single, “Dead Weight” transforms anxieties into alluring catharsis. The song, from the East LA-based indie-pop duo Talk Time, is the first release from a forthcoming project EP Necessary Evil—due August 20, 2021.
“We wanted to open with a track that described our times,” Edson Choi tells American Songwriter. “‘Let’s Get Crazy’ came out in 1982, helped open a decade of excess and decadence, while ‘Dead Weight’ is much more introspective, and is going to be released during a time of a pandemic and social and economic unrest, and reflects the constant existential crises we’re going through as individuals and as a species right now.”
Like their 2019 debut EP Year of Self, Talk Time’s forthcoming EP is co-produced and engineered by Matt Bishop (Two-Door Cinema Club, Silversun Pickups, The Killers). Bishop’s musical guidance leads the duo through a lyrical labyrinth, overrun with hooky choruses living inside lush worlds of textures and riffs.
“Dead Weight” was bred from exercising anxieties about the future and modern living. The general direction we are headed as humankind occupies Choi’s mind. He says, “It seems like something so general, but I struggle with it often. So getting it out in song form really does help process and deal with it, and hopefully, other people connect with it.”
Choi prioritizes the listeners ability to connect with his music beyond lyrical bounds. As a Korean kid growing up in Brazil, the artist was obsessed with global icons like Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.
“I would dance and sing myself into delirium listening to records. I had no idea what they were saying at the time, but 8-year-old me couldn’t stop til I got enough,” he recalls. “That obsession continued with age, but I stuck to guitar, cause it turns out, I suck at dancing. I didn’t understand what this English guy (Paul McCartney) was singing, nor this African American pop star (Michael Jackson), but it so wholly transcended any of those barriers and connected me straight to a source that felt like the joy of the human experience.”
With his sights set on artistry, Choi’s experience blends with Nissen’s West Coast influence, coalescing in a nostalgia-tinged Californian dreamscape.
The song speaks eloquently into the unknown. In the last verse, Talk Time captures a lyrical centerpiece: My dear, why do we survive? / To feel our love come to life / but are we going to be fine?
“I hope people who listen to this song get the same catharsis we get when we listen to it, that they’re not alone in feeling like we’re riding turbulent waters,” says Choi. “All we can do is hold on and do our best to appreciate the love and loved ones we have despite uncertainty.”
Listen to Talk Time’s new single, “Dead Weight,” below. Keep up with upcoming releases, here.
Photo Credit: Hector Puig