Until It Turns to Petals (2017), is the first album from newer indie band, Small Talks. The project started all the way back in front-woman Cayley Spivey’s bedroom, slowly transitioned into local coffee shops, and quickly started touring at Warped. Although they’re new and pretty unknown, their single from this album, “New Dork Pity,” has found a decent amount of popularity on streaming services such as Spotify. Why? I don’t particularly know.
While this is labeled as an album, and not an EP, the length of the album is very underwhelming. Sporting seven songs, (five actual songs, two interludes), it ends up at a whopping 18 minutes. This wasn’t incredibly disappointing for me, as it is their first ever release, but once I see something labeled as and “album,” I immediately think it’s going to be a decent amount longer than that. The theme of “not disappointing for a first release” is going to definitely be a theme here throughout.
Surprisingly, the sound quality is actually very high for a brand new indie band at this point in time. Living in/around an era where lo-fi indie rock and pop is popular means that more and more lo-fi bands keep popping up here and there, especially solo-projects. That being said, the production on this album is pretty crisp and well-done. It’s kind of interesting and funny to me that higher quality stuff has become a rarity in certain genres. The lyricism on this album is also incredible at certain points. Tracks like “New Dork Pity,” and “This Is Not A Love Song,” are hilariously relatable and clearly from a personal perspective. The clustered, very realistic story-telling in the latter track is super clever and interesting to me.
That being said, those first and last tracks are by far the most intriguing for me. The two interludes don’t seem to do much more than fill space. While I’m sure they’re there for a reason, they seem to be just thrown in there. The other three full-length songs are pretty forgettable as well. The lyricism isn’t as clever or enjoyable for me, and the rest is pretty cookie-cutter indie stuff. The instrumentals are pretty basic. I do have an appreciation for when they go in a little harder, and play a little louder because it gets rid of that stereotypical, laid back, coffee shop vibe that’s so overdone at this point. The rest is pretty typical however, featuring pretty basic guitar chords, and drum beats that drive it just enough to make it enjoyable. Once again, for a newer band, these are pretty understandable, but sadly, that doesn’t make it any better. If I wasn’t already privy to the fact, it would’ve been pretty easy to tell that she started playing in coffee shops.
Overall, I think it’s a debut album that is understandably basic. A strong majority of bands do not start off with a large amount of musical creativity or complexity. The lyrics are obviously being drawn from a deeply personal place, and Cayley shows a lot of skill in making amusing, yet poetic lyrics. As they begin to branch out, I could see Cayley becoming a fantastic songwriter, and coming out with amazing indie material. The album as a whole isn’t impressive at all, only featuring a couple of pretty okay songs, but I do think the future of this band could be very bright. I’m rating this a 3/10, but it’s a very hopeful 3/10, if that makes any sense.
Favorite Track(s): “New Dork Pity,” “This Is Not A Love Song”
Least Favorite Track(s): “Come Back And Haunt Me”