The new solo project album ‘SkinWalker Ranch’ by Simon Talbot is concept art for the most sophisticated listeners. Deep rock with a touch of psychedelic and dark space urge listeners to turn to his own soul and awaken it. Simon’s music is not obvious and requires total immersion. Only by forgetting for a while who you are and where you are from, and having absorbed the musician’s grunge vocals, you can be reborn in a new skin and feel a surge of strength and new ideas.
Talbot confirms his status as a universal indie musician who can prove his genius in any field, whether in light and superficial pop music, bright glam rock, subtle psychedelic, electronic minimalism or, as on the album ‘The Messenger’ by H A L O (founded by Simon) in experimental and art rock with strongly intellectual lyrics. And yet his music is able to leave the listener in a state of admiring spellbound.
On the solo album, Simon Talbot embodied the most daring ideas in terms of sound and concept. There are a lot of synth sounds on the album and they perfectly match the grunge rock guitars and the fast rhythm of the drums. The first tracks of the album like ‘SkinWalker Ranch’ and ‘Yee Naaldlooshii’ open a new wave of psychedelic rock. Simon is not in a hurry to reveal his ideas to the listener right away, so these tracks are just a warm-up and prepare the listener for the strongest impression in the genre of psychedelic rock music.
Already in the third track ‘Believe in You’ the cosmic synth sound breaks the dense web of guitars and stunning drums. Simon’s voice is like an airbag between the unstoppable volcano of the groove arrangement and the sound-destroying synth chords. The pure art of Simon Talbot breaks up familiar harmonies to create the perfect sound of another musical dimension on a scorched field.
The album has 10 tracks and each track has a concept. I can hear how Simon Talbot, like a guide in his art, skillfully and gently arranges the order of the tracks so that the listener grasps the value of the album. After the speed of the sound that resonates and resounds in the track ‘Believe in You’, comes the soft and bassy sound of the track ‘A Shadow’s Prime.’ Deep bass with bright guitar sounds like a real poem. Each instrument tells its own story, and together they make a complex story that each listener will understand in his own way.
The track ‘Seeing is Believing’ is, in my opinion, the most enigmatic on the whole album. In this piece, Simon plays in a dead minor key, twisting the instruments and forcing them to play according to the rules of the musician rather than the rules of the harmonies. The intensity and impulsiveness of the piece can be felt in every note, and only Simon Talbot, as a wizard, can control this unstoppable sound. I am thrilled. In the middle of the album there seems to be a breakdown, and everything that was ‘before’ became just an introduction to the main part.
Simon catches the wave of the hurricane and unleashes his sophisticated sci-fi sound with backing vocals and instrumental parts that dance and blend into each other. ‘Abduction’ is the suspense track of the album. The song leaves a strong impression, puts you in a depressive state with its images, drawn by single phrases taken out of context. Final track ‘Project Z’ is a instrumental synth vertigo. The song hints at our imperfection, it’s about the fundamental impossibility of knowing everything about the unknown. Strange language in the background, maybe it’s music from another world, who knows? You probably will not find direct answers here.
Simon not only plays with genres, sounds and his voice, he creates a psychedelic adventure for the listener. But Simon Talbot leaves room for reflection, so everyone can come through ‘SkinWalker Ranch‘ in their own way.
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