In 2017, Dramatic Lovers—the Milwaukee supergroup consisting of current or former members of Decibully, The Promise Ring, Temper Temper, and Maritime—spent the year playing out consistently and releasing a debut 7-inch. After quickly garnering attention, nabbing some high-caliber opening slots, and attracting an audience its first full year in existence, the young band that’s made up of seasoned musicians went fairly quiet in 2018.
Outside of a few shows (including a memorable showing at Arte Para Todos’ opening night and a trip to play a SXSW showcase), Dramatic Lovers has spent much of last year the studio, writing new material and meticulously recording tracks for their debut full-length. Finally, on May 25, the band is ready for the world to hear the fruits of their year-plus in relative seclusion.
You Talk Loud was recorded over the course of multiple sessions at Dramatic Lovers’ “Polish Moon” rehearsal space/studio between June 18, 2018 and last Thanksgiving. Once recorded, producer Jason Todd brought the effort to completion this past January. The homespun approach gave the band the time and the space to craft and develop material with no sense of urgency. That comfort and careful construction is evident in the final product—a 10-track collection of emotional vocals, elegant instrumentation, and electronic flourishes that perfectly complement each moody and brooding exercise in shoegaze.
“I think, by default, this record reflects the entrance into our adult stage of life. The themes are simple and universal: love, loss, success, happiness, disappointment, and an overall acceptance of how and with who we’ve spent the first half of our lives,” Dramatic Lovers singer-guitarist William Seidel says. “We aren’t trying to rewrite history with these songs, but rather, we want to honestly showcase how that history has influenced us as musicians and as people.”
With Seidel’s unmistakable voice at the helm, You Talk Loud shifts shape over the course of its approximately 35-minute run time, ably alternating between upbeat and self-assured efforts like “The Comedown” and “Hard To Hear” and darkened, dour offerings like “Broken Nose” or the destructive ’80s throwback “Danger To Myself” that brings the album to a memorable conclusion. By album’s end, it’s clear that Dramatic Lovers isn’t a case of established players killing time together. Instead, they’ve plied their decades of on-stage experience in some of the city’s best-known bands and forged something new, unfamiliar, and ultimately quite impressive.
Before Dramatic Lovers release You Talk Loud on digital platforms this weekend (and in physical formats in a few months), you can listen to the record in its entirety below.