Central Canada, with its prairies and bitter winters, is not necessarily a scene where one would expect to encounter synthesizer-filled indie rock—but meet Close Talker from Saskatoon, the urban center of Saskatchewan, a band making pop rock waves in those grassy plains. “A lot of our friends make music suited for the prairies and for some stompin’ and clappin’,” laughs band member Matthew Kopperud. “We have always been drawn to indie rock that stretches the left side of the brain, that’s creative and abstract. We try to write pop music that challenges us because we get bored easily; we found our sound because of a sort of musical ADD I suppose,” he adds of the band’s penchant for electric guitars and reverb.
Kopperud and bandmate Chris Morien, were childhood friends and neighbors; “We’d meet up at the corner and ride our bikes up the hill to school together,” Kopperud recalls. “We picked up instruments around the same time, and would jam when we were little. I would fill my wagon with guitar gear and roll it over to his house so we could play music. Do you remember the show Pimp My Ride?” he asks with a laugh. “We were too young to drive, so we spray painted my wagon and souped it up.” The pair met lead singer Will Quiring in high school. Says Kopperud, “Close Talker was an inevitable crossroads for us.”
The band will release a new album. Lens on April 21st via Nevado Music, which they believe represents a new chapter for them in many ways. “We used to be a four piece band; we lost our bass player, well, we didn’t lose him, he’s still alive and well,” laughs Kopperud. “There’s no juicy story or drama, we love him to bits. Unfortunately, for time reasons, he had to let the band go. This is the first record we’ve written as a three piece, our sound has matured, but it’s also a new chapter personally for us. Will got married this past year, and I got married the year prior.” They also took a step in a new direction with the album’s lead single, “Okay Hollywood.” “Typically, our lyrics are vague so lots of people can relate to them, but this song is a cheeky, sarcastic one, not our typical kind of song,” he explains. “We were worried about leading with this single, that people would think we were jerks because it pokes fun at our tendencies to self-indulge. It’s a small attempt to remind ourselves and everyone else that we’re not that cool, we’re just all trying to do our best. The song is a busy arrangement, and it lends itself to the idea that it’s a chaotic world, and everyone wants their voices to be heard. We want to inspire everyone to take a step back and gain perspective.”
The three members wrote and recorded alongside Royal Canoe’s Matt Peters, who also produced the album. “It was the middle of winter, and it was good to hole up and be creative. It’s so cold in the winter, that when great art gets made,” he says. Close Talker is extremely proud of the new record, excited for the release and for the tour which follows. “The three of us are ready to push as hard as we can,” Kopperud continues. “We’re ready to get this album out there.”