"exit cocoon coo" & "spotless"
Written by Alejandro Veciana
Talk Bazaar’s new music and the many faces of Alex DeSimine
Written by Alejandro Veciana (he/him)
It’s been a busy year for Talk Bazaar, the solo project of NYC-based musical artist Alex DeSimine (he/they). Like many of us, DeSimine spent a good amount of time alone over the course of 2020. During that time he began writing and subsequently recorded oceanic, his first full-length record under the Talk Bazaar moniker. When oceanic was released in the summer of 2021, the COVID vaccine rollout was underway and there was a mix of anxiety and joy among New Yorkers who began exiting their quarantine cocoons into a world that began to resemble a pre-pandemic “normality.” oceanic was, like many quarantine records, a quiet, introspective, and deeply personal work–a product of self-relfection. So it seems logical then, that DeSimine’s post-lockdown release is a bright and colorful EP charmingly titled exit cocoon coo. That was soon followed by yet another release, the more romantic and personal spotless. While both records can be seen as two standalone pieces, they are both conceptually interwoven and are also enjoyed one after the other, showing Talk Bazaar’s wide range as an artist and the multifaceted quality of their work.
exit cocoon coo finds DeSimine reflecting on a transitional time in both the world and in their own life. Recorded in, “a closet in Florida during a period of unrest,” exit cocoon coo is ultimately a beautiful and soulful homage to overcoming that unrest, surviving, and eventually coming out the other side. “I can’t believe I haven’t lost my mind,” sings DeSimine right off the bat, as the record begins. The initial track, find a way to find joy, a song filled with electronic loops and loud distorted beats sets up the tone of the entire 5-song EP. The sweet and dreamy ethan allen shows Talk Bazaar’s new strengths as a songwriter where his imaginative and surreal lyrics turn the idea of two people looking at chiffarobes at a furniture store into something that transcends the ordinary to become something more poignant and beautiful. While ethan allen shows Talk Bazaar’s more dream pop and chillwave side, hot air highlights their experimental side. In this track, DeSimine layers his own soft but powerful vocals, harmonizing with himself over electronic beats and hazy guitar licks. Those who are familiar with Talk Bazaar will identify his velvety and hazy voice which can sometimes echo the piercing richness and range of a Moses Sumney. hot air is a fun, warped eclectic track that, like most of Talk Bazaar’s work, blends genres, textures, and rhythms fusing R&B, bedroom pop, and electronic music that fall somewhere in between SAULT and Dirty Projectors–all tightly packaged in a short but powerful EP.
FIND A WAY TO FIND JOY
Official Music Video by Jordan Mcafee Hahn
In spotless however, DeSimine shifts gears from reflecting on the world around him and hones in on their partner. This mini album, released shortly after exit cocoon coo, is essentially a love letter and allows DeSimine to dwell in a state of admiration and affection. Quieter than exit cocoon but brighter than oceanic, spotless is an intimate celebration of love. It plays like a slideshow, a collection of private sonic snap shots that blend together over soundscapes of lo-fi guitar licks, ambient textures, and occasional bits that sound like they were recorded on an old tape recorder. The smooth and catchy wow (stay here) is an ultimate head bopper. The seductive and jazzy track has his voice modulated down to a rich sounding quality which ultimately shows DeSimine’s creativity as a producer and mixer. Although his voice is never really front and center, spotless feels like every element, no matter how small, gets equal treatment. Tucked away into the mix, his voice is just one more layer into the many colors that shine through this eleven minute album. In the last titular track, however, his voice shines through. The song begins with a gentle guitar strum à la Alex G, then unfolds into a beautiful and gentle song filled with ethereal soundscapes and tape-recorded chatter which ends with the chorus line, “I know we had fun and now that it’s done, can you hurry back?” It serves as a moving request bringing the record back to a place of intimacy and tenderness.
When he’s not writing new music, DeSimine will be out performing either solo or with one of his many musical collaborations. Talk Bazaar is not the only project keeping him busy these days. This year alone, DeSimine has recorded an EP with fellow Ridgewood-ite and electro-experimental artist, Alexia Avina, with whom he frequently collaborates with. They have also co-written songs with artists like Brooklyn-based rock band, Birthday Girl, and Boston-based singer-songwriter, Aaron Percy. And as if that’s not enough, DeSimine is part of two bands, Ritual Talk (along with drummer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Criblez aka teasea) and Ackerman (with artist and filmmaker, Jordan Mcafee Hahn, Matti Dunitez, and Bernardo Ochoa aka Panther Hollow). He released an album with Ritual Talk called Is it Ever? at the end of the summer which has just been pressed on vinyl.
So whether it’s as one of his bands, as a guest musician, as a DJ, as a solo set or as a film score composer, Talk Bazaar can come in many shapes and forms. Despite these many musical faces, make no mistake, Talk Bazaar is a unique and singular musical force to be reckoned with.
Written by Alejandro Veciana