Just as an early Christmas present to ourselves, Hot Press thought we’d head over to St. Ann’s Church to catch one of two unique performances from Talos, the atmospheric indie-electro outfit helmed by Eoin French.
Rarely has there been a more fitting way for a group to see out a triumphant twelve months. This, by anyone’s standards, was Talos’ year. Having blessed us with an absolutely incredible debut album at the start of it, they went on to raise heads at festivals throughout the summer, bookending the sunny season with two incredible performances at Forbidden Fruit in June, then at Electric Picnic in September. But with an album which was conceived from glacial treks through Iceland and which delights in images of remote, unconquerable landscapes, winter truly feels like the season where these songs gain their potency.
So without overstressing the point (or maybe it’s too late for that), your Hot Press reviewer sat in the balcony pews of St. Ann’s with a pre-emptive sense that the night was already special.
Kicking things off with ‘Odyssey’, Eoin French’s vulnerable falsetto makes every oblique lyrical turn sound like a Psalm sung in reverence, while his impassioned hand flourishes add to his sermon-like persona.
Next, onto early track ‘Tethered Bones’, where audience members are able deconstruct the component parts of the band as the song builds from single drum beats to a blazing crescendo. A big hand must be given to the five other members of Talos at this point; because the true joy of seeing the band play live is getting to see how well it’s all executed – how much work really goes into making a sound which appears sparse and minimal. Eoin French’s architectural background is an obvious analogy at this point, but it seems too crucial a one not to make.
The rest of the set consists of the glorious tracks which made Wild Alee the highly original, decisively coherent unit that it was. Eoin French had told Hot Press earlier in the year that work was always been done to try to nail down the live performance, and this set seemed like the natural next step in their development.
The show finishes, all too soon, with ‘Your Love Is An Island’, another slow-burner that reaches dizzying crescendos in its final act, similar to ‘Tethered Bones’. Rapturous applause follows seconds on from the final note, and as the six members of the band wrap arms around one another at the front of the stage, and the ovation becomes a standing one.
All well deserved, of course; this was a fitting way to finish out the year.