Review #7: Talons’—Songs for Babes

talonsRating: 9/10

Talons’ recorded Songs for Babes at their homes in Akron and Cleveland, Ohio. The album was released on both vinyl and CD on September 2, 2009. It was mastered by Tim Gerak at Wooly Mammoth and the cover art was done by Sommer Miller. This record mainly features Mike Tolan and his guitar, as this is his solo project from his other band, Trouble Books.

Songs for Babes is a concept album, with each song title being the name of a different woman. Lyrically, the songs each seem to be speaking to the women that they are named for and Tolan says each of their names in the songs. Specifically in “Sam” he seems to be in a conversation when he sings, “Life is sad, but at least it’s short…” The lyrics provide a new look on the mundane parts of life and really leave an impact.

Although the record is mainly compiled of songs that feature just Mike Tolan, there are outside sounds as well. In “Natalie” it sounds as if you are sitting on a beach. There is a siren in another song, and you can hear the phone ringing in another. It sounds very raw and uncut. It sounds like you are sitting in the same room as him as he is playing the songs. The melodies are calming and warm. It is the kind of soft indie folk that causes you to reflect on life and think about where you belong.

Overall, the album is definitely worth listening to. There is a strong emotional pull that is perfect to just lose yourself in. The background noise added to each song provides the feel that you and Mike are sitting in the same room, as if he is singing directly to you. It is warm, it is inviting, and it contains an overall beauty that you can feel. Mike Tolan is an unsung hero when it comes to indie folk.