Sistertalk’s new single, ‘Vitriol,’ came out on February the 8th 2019. I listened to it the next morning. I was walking and the morning was cold and taut and grey. Voices, obscure and disembodied – muffled howls, half-there rasps, slowly the writhing guitars like cheesewire, slowly a sifting rhythm. The song moves slowly. Gathering, slowly, vertical, pointed with discord. It finds a trudging rhythm; a melody that staggers queasily. It stutters, breaking to one long line of feedback. Then that too stops.
It is an angry song. It teeters and throbs and it is a song you should listen to right away, because, despite the abundance of foggy post-punk streaming out of the capital right now, it still stands out as a genuinely troubling piece, glassy and odd.
They are a band that has generated a lot of attention. Most of this is due to their be-suited live sets in London, which have received critical acclaim and fostered a growing fan base. This is despite the fact that their online presence remains guarded and tightly managed. On the 16th of March, they make their return to Bristol, performing at the Old England alongside Haze and PVA, for Spinny Nights #14, in what promises to be a phenomenal bash. Ahead of this, I had a chat with them about ‘Vitriol,’ independent music and what happened last time they played in Bristol…
How did Sistertalk come about? Can you give us some background?
It was a happy accident: what I was writing at the time I had never intended to be heard or seen. It was only when the encouragement and suggestions of the people around me began to take on more of a band dynamic that we decided to start Sistertalk.
What’s the story behind your new single ‘Vitriol’?
It’s a performer’s reaction towards the semi-interested, blank stare of an unmoved crowd, who still can’t bring himself to call it quits. As the first, slightly despondent song I wrote for Sistertalk, my relationship with music has definitely changed since then.
You’re playing Spinny Nights #14 at the Old England in March, an institution that has become synonymous with Bristol’s DIY music scene. What is Sistertalk’s history with independent promoters and venues and how important are they to the music industry as a whole?
We wouldn’t be a band if we hadn’t been able to form symbiotic relationships with independent promoters and venues. People like Campbell Baum (Black Cat White Cat) and Tim Perry (The Windmill) ensure there’s a space for musicians to develop, offering a rolling cast of new artists for the industry to then pluck apart.
The last time you played Bristol was for Simple Things Festival in October. How was that show? Do you have much of a relationship with the city at all?
We didn’t have much of a relationship with Bristol prior to playing Simple Things, but traversing between the venues that weekend made it clear just how nurturing Bristol is towards new music. However, the actual performance was slightly tumultuous; there were a few technical difficulties, and we still haven’t been paid…
Oh no! Any plans for the rest of the year?
We’ll be playing more shows, and potentially releasing some more music. Planning isn’t our strong suit.
Make sure to check out Sistertalk at the Old England for Spinny Nights #14