Andrew Shepard was looking for a fresh start. The Athens, Georgia-based guitarist and songwriter had been acting as the frontman for his previous band, Roadkill Ghost Choir, for eight years, playing every major festival, Late Night With David Letterman, and touring alongside Band of Horses. But Shepard was feeling constrained by the expectations placed on him in that band. He felt that their songs had to sound a certain way—dark, foreboding, and moody—and he wanted to break out of that mold and start with a clean slate. “We did a lot of cool stuff and had a great time doing it” Shepard says. “But I wanted to sonically explore stuff I hadn’t been able to really do before.” Though he didn’t know it at the time, that was when his new project, Lo Talker, was born.
Check out the swirling and fantastic new single “Don’t Hide That Light Pt. II” (below) from Lo Talker. Existing in a dense world of low-end pulse and synth psychedelia, Lo Talker explores with inquisitive melodic design and impenetrable groove. The track propels with the sonic fury of Stars Wars/Schmilco era Wilco, while referencing low fi stalwarts Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth.
“I wrote ‘Don’t Hide That Light’ to try and remind myself that just because the world around me has plunged into a new level of insanity, it doesn’t mean I have to follow suit. Nihilism is so easy to flirt with especially when it feels like we’re not in on the cosmic joke being told, but the thought that a better world is possible in the face of such darkness is one worth waking up for,” says Shepard.
The song is a study in optimism at a time when optimism can be hard to come by. Over blown-out drums, sparkling keys, and walls of guitar fuzz reminiscent of the lush but lo-fi recordings of the Elephant 6 crew, Shepard curses the “cosmic humor” of the world and recognizes threat in the absurdity of life itself. The accompanying video is a wonderful display of dark humor,” adds Shepard.