Love Talk - A Song Story
New year, new focus.
During the Christmas break, The Choco La’s pondered their successes and failures of the past year. Far away from my guitar and my band mates, I sat at the long dining table, in a secluded Scottish hunting lodge, surrounded by extended family and sporting an extremely pouffy black frock. Longing to return to music but not in my dizziest daydreams expecting what was ahead. On my return to Surrey, I quickly received a request for a ‘band meeting’ on the 2nd January.
Luke had been doing some thinking too, but he had actually come up with a firm plan of action. At this point the three of us were part of a whole host of different musical projects. During Luke’s midwinter musings he had decided the project he was “most comfortable and happy and stimulated in was ‘The Choco La’s’” He put forward a plan for bringing the band to the forefront, upping rehearsal time and turning the side project into a real thing. Obviously I said absolutely yes please thank you very much when do we start?
One of the first songs written that January was Love Talk. Luke said of it:
“I wrote the basis of what became Love Talk in the summer house at Jake and I’s parents house. It was one of the nights where nothing was coming together. I had written a verse and a chorus, but I hadn’t got a buzz from anything that was coming out of me. It feels really bad coming back in from a songwriting session without something that I’m pleased with, cause it seems like I’ve literally just wasted my time. Then begins the torturous exercise of waiting and waiting for something good to come out. So I decided to start again but just use the lyrics from what I was working on. I started singing more freely and it came together much better. All based around a D major chord, fun, happy sounding to contrast with the distressed lyrics.”
It was one of those nights in their musical house, their dad was playing piano in the music room, Jake was on logic in the kitchen, so Luke wandered through the garden with his guitar and set up in their little summer house at the bottom of the garden, lovingly built by the Andrews themselves and complete with little lizard friends watching from the walls.
“I was playing it the next couple of nights and all I had was fragments of the song, but nothing to pull it all together yet. Dad heard me playing what I had, and he said he thought it was good, which doesn’t happen often. It was sounding quite catchy and poppy but I felt like I hadn’t really got the keystone of the track yet, it felt just like a draft almost. I had picked out the phrase ‘Love Talk’ from the pre-chorus lyrics as something I liked (like the band name Talk Talk, I’d quite happily have a band called Love Talk) and had settled on that as the title. With the title in hand I thought I could then attack this ‘keystone’ of the track, walked into the music room and just straight away sang ‘LOVE TALK, LOVE TALKING LOVE TALK’. That brought it all together.”
When Jake and I heard the song, we adored it. The harmonies pretty much wrote themselves on the first run through and the guitar part is quite true to what Luke originally played to us. It felt like an instant classic, like it had existed for a lot longer than it had. Jake added the African inspired, palm muted bit, which he attributed to listening to a lot of Nick Mulvey and all the African bands he’d watched on Jools Holland (our lord and saviour). We added bass and drums and then played it about a million times because it was so, damn, fun.
Then March rolled around and so did the Coronavirus. Our part time retail jobs told us to go home and Boris Johnson told us to stay there. Faced with potentially eternity apart, we packed up Jake and Luke’s lives and moved them over the hill and into my family home. Work started up in a little room in the eaves, complete with Recording gear, drum kit, triangular window and a sofa bed for Luke. Our retail jobs unwittingly sponsored us (via furlough) to record and record and record and record. We were all set to start our second Lockdown track when we realised Jake’s amplifier was still at the warehouse where it was getting mended. So to avoid dodgy electric guitar sounds we decided to pick a different one of Luke’s songs, that was more acoustic guitar lead and thus ‘Love Talk’ recording began.
We threw everything we had at it. The intro riff for example, has the acoustic guitar from the live band take, piano, electric guitar chords, electric guitar playing just the melody, electric guitar playing the melody an octave above and our vocals singing a very Fleetwood Mac-esq ‘ooh’ each vocal triple tracked. Upon finishing the recording we received an email from Melita Dennet at BBC Radio Surrey, asking if any of us had done any recording during lockdown and if she could send it through to be played on the radio. Our song got picked and within a week of finishing recording, it was beaming out to the counties of Surrey and Sussex even before our first single ‘Firebreather’ had been released. It was a strange way to check a mix!