In the "Raincoats" episode of Seinfeld, when Jerry describes his pal Elaine's new boyfriend as "a bit of a close talker," he doesn't mean it as a compliment. Jerry describes the ultimate social sinner who has no concept of personal space, who is so invasive that when he speaks he forces everyone around him to lean back lest they find themselves on a first-name basis with his pores.
Through that Seinfeldian lens, the Saskatoon band Close Talker couldn't be less appropriately named. This is a band that's built its stellar new single, "Afterthought," around giving you space. It's expansive. And as a result, it's an invitation to lean right in.
"Afterthought" is Close Talker's first offering since 2014's Flux, and it has the relaxed feel of a band that's taken time to reflect and exhale. The Canadian trio recorded the single at home in the province of Saskatchewan; you can hear in it the simplicity and vastness of that region's prairies, where the sky looks like it extends to the end of the earth.
Mixed by Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National), the song's arrangement soars without being in your face. And even though Paquin's production is slick, the scratches and squeaks of fingers on guitars make sure not an ounce of homegrown feel is lost along the way. There's a gentle exasperation to lead singer Will Quiring's breathy and beautiful vocals when he pleads, "Come on, baby, won't you stay / I've said it like a hundred times." It's as intimate as it is earnest. As the band says in a press release, fans "can smell insincerity from miles away" — and no matter how close you get to Close Talker, there isn't the faintest whiff.
Close Talker's new album will come out in 2017.