Emily Bell & The Talkbacks: “Can’t Talk Back”

Photo: Eryn Brooke

The decision to become a serious musician comes closely tied to another: find your place in the scene or make you own. When working the L.A. scene trying to make it as an R&B/soul singer, Emily Bell was in a state of arrested development, suffocating on the ubiquity of female stereotypes. Bell chose Austin to sow her new sound, putting out the sugary pop-rock EP In Technicolor in 2014, but she knew she still hadn’t quite found her music identity. So, finding herself at another one of life’s proverbial crossroads, she looked deeper within, took a trip to India, and a full-warrior garage rocker came exploding out. Backed by her Talkbacks, she’s created a fierce debut EP, appropriately named after the Hindu Goddess of Destruction, to drop on Austin like a crate of dynamite.

“Can’t Talk About” is Bell’s dedication to this new, fearless sound and a public declaration that she is a force to be reckoned with. After stinging your ears to attention with six sets of rapid fire sonic jabs, her heavy, syncapted breathes worm into your head punctuated by bold guitar riffs. All of her power comes to an apotheosis at the chorus where Bell refers to herself as “the tremor in the earthquake…the bullet in the bang-bang.” Catchy from the intro jabs to the final, empowered chanting of “you can’t talk back to me,” Emily Bell and the Talkbacks are hurling the next add to your Power Woman playlist right into your ears.

“Can’t Talk Back” appears on Kali, out tomorrow. Catch Emily Bell & the Talkbacks at their EP release show at 3Ten at ACL Live on Saturday, April 29th.

-Taylor Wallace // host, Thursday 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. & Saturday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli and SoundCheck Music News

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