Eyes at Half Mast

I want to be in the movie that uses Talkdemonic as its soundtrack. I don’t necessarily want Talkdemonic as my personal soundtrack—what this inventive Portland, Ore.-based duo does is much too interesting to be wasted on my mundane routine. But when this purely instrumental group gets tapped for some intelligent indie gem or edgy thriller, I want to somehow be a part of it.

Talkdemonic just oozes sonic cool. Dexterous drummer Kevin O’Connor and violist Lisa Molinaro continue to concoct new variations of the classical- strings-meets-churning-percussion sound that debuted with 2004’s Mutiny Sunshine. Like their sophomore effort, 2006’s Beat Romantic, Eyes at Half Mast incorporates even more into the mix, including O’Connor’s liberal use of autoharp, synth, banjo, trumpet, organ and acoustic guitar. On “Black Wood Crimson,” “Ending the Orange Glow” and “March Movement” listeners even get a hint of vocals, with O’Connor’s distant “Ahhhhs” helping to fill the band’s intricate and dramatic builds.

The recipe works wonders. That’s never more apparent than on “Tides in Their Grave,” a heartbreaking track that seems to underline all the band’s greatest attributes, especially the stark contrast of O’Connor’s trip hop drumming and Molinaro’s evocative strings. It’s perfect for my imagined movie’s opening credits.

Talkdemonic plays the Badlander Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 9 PM. Pollen and Tyson Ballew open. $5.
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