The Seattle-based artist Ghoul Talk is a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist musician and performer named R.K King. Still going through her emo phase, King takes inspiration from horror film scores, noise rock and Riot Grrrls, Ghoul Talk’s true goal is to make music that can mean something to someone else. Through her melodic vocals and grunge yet lush instrumentals, Ghoul Talk dives deep into mental health and the deeper corners of her psyche.
This self-released debut has been described as “a marriage of opposite worlds”. Through the journey these three songs take us on, there is a clear path and a moment where two different sounds merge and create a peaceful, unified cycle.
Magician can be said to be defined by moods, mainly Ghoul Talk’s when she worked on the songs. Led by her emotion-heavy vocal harmonies, the chaotic fuzz and feeling the music creates is the same regardless of if you’re listening to the more indie noise, rock ‘Migraine/Headache’ or the shoegaze pop ballad ‘Sleeper’. Ghoul Talk’s dynamic songwriting and personality shine through in every track, setting an expectation that will always be surpassed as we eventually find the true story within the song.
It goes without saying, by the way, that the progression made throughout the three tracks might be the most outstanding part of the debut. All three songs have their strong point, although it might be hard for the listener to determine if they prefer the strong, thoughtful lyrics or the arrangement that carries the song and helps reinforce the meaning of the words being sung. In the end, the smooth transitions found from song to song and the feeling of union they gave at the very end was the thing that made me completely fall for Magician.
By singing about her chronic pains and the difficult side effects of medication, the necessity to deal and confront her trauma, and her desire to create music that perfectly portrays the vision she had, Ghoul Talk opens a door to talk more in depth about vulnerability and gives comfort to people who might be going through similar or the same struggles.
Considering the importance Ghoul Talk places on making meaningful content, one might wonder the name behind her debut work and indeed, the title holds deep importance for the musician, as she explained in depth to Less Than 1,000 Followers.
“When I was producing the album, I had the name ‘Magician’ in my head but didn’t tell a soul. Not even the other musicians I was working with, or people close to me – it was just an idea in my head. I ended up getting a psychic reading and told the psychic I wanted to focus the reading on the EP I was making, and the psychic chose cards they said they felt drawn to. The first card they chose was The Magician, and that felt like a sign that this was finally going to happen, after many attempts at making singles and EPs.”
With all the signs pointing in the same direction, Magician was destined for success. For Ghoul Talk, music is a mirror that can perfectly reflect her feelings and experiences, and for this specific release Ghoul Talk opened up about her limitations: the things she’s desperately wanted to change but is unable to. This is why despite the frustration these topics can bring, if someone is able to see themselves in the lyrics and the sound she has, her main goal will be achieved and that will give even more meaning to the career path she’s chosen.
Magician has a defined beginning and end, and the same applies for the listener: by the time the sweet ending known as ‘Sleeper’ has let out its last note, you will feel differently than you did before you listened to the 3-song single, and you’ll feel differently than you did while listening to the strong opening ‘Migraine/Headache’ and the merging point of these two songs, ‘Materialize’.
To anyone looking for change or to feel understood, Magician will be right there for you.
If you enjoyed Ghoul Talk’s music and would like to stay updated, be sure to check out her official website. For social media you can follow her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. To listen to her music, you can head over to her Spotify profile and Soundcloud, or you can purchase their music at Bandcamp.
You can also support the artist by streaming and sharing her music, which can be found in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Sickest & Dopest, Debut Bands (Off The Radar), and Alterindie State Of Mind.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you should subscribe to Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists we’ve talked about!