Spotlight: Speak Seldom and their new Single “Back to You”

By Ryan G

It can be hard to know where to start when describing a band you think everyone should know that is virtually undiscovered. The easiest thing to do is name drop bigger acts that they sound like, but that often feels contrived and lazy. And what to genre titles even mean anymore?

Perhaps I should take a cue from the band that is the subject of this post. Speak seldom… and when I do so, make it meaningful.

When I first heard this about this act it was described to be as being loosely inspired by Sylvan Esso. But my memory is a bit fuzzy on that. Coincidentally, fuzzy can be a good way to describe some of this sound, if ironically. It’s actually pretty dang smooth. Hearing “California” for the first time made me realize that this band was emerging to fit a niche within the Columbus scene that desperately needed to be filled.

Over the past couple of years, Speak Seldom, the brainchild of Cory Heddleston and Trudi Kurtz, have been quietly dropping infectious atmospheric pieces that feel tailor made to be both live crowd pleasers and songs that might make you feel like you’re floating. This week, they are releasing a new single, “Back to You” that sounds more akin to Tycho with added male vocals rather than the original name drop Sylvan Esso. The more ethereal side of Paper Route is another place my mind goes when listening…. oh shoot, I’m doing the name dropping thing, aren’t I?

Cory says of the song, “The new single is really just about loving someone overtime, I feel like I constantly fall back in love with my partner.  It’s really a beautiful process and can be challenging, but it’s so rewarding and comforting to really feel that from another person and know they will actually be there for you when you need them.

I think it would be best that I further help you get to know the via an interview. Afterward, you can check out a playlist of songs that inspired the new single. How does that sound? Good? I’m glad you approve!

Tuned Up: If the future of Speak Seldom tunes were a drink, what would it be?

Speak Seldom: I think the new tunes would be a whiskey drink, something like a smoked manhattan that you just sip on in front of a fire to chill out to.

In a perfect world, where would you like to hear your tunes on TV?

We would love to hear our tracks on Netflix, specifically Stranger Things because we love the synth sounds in that show and draw inspiration from it in our own music.

What music are you excited about this year?

I think I am more excited about live music more than I am any specific album release, since the pandemic it’s been really difficult to go listen to live music but with the vaccine becoming available to all who want it is encouraging to finally see some normal touring starting back up.

What was a standout release for you in 2021?

The record “Nightshade” by Andrew Belle was incredible, it really was the album of the year for us.  The production in his music is always so beautiful and his choice of instrumentation, it just really feels like a perfect record to me. 

If money wasn’t an object, what would you do in Speak Seldom’s live show?

I would love to incorporate a lighting rig to the set synced to the tracks, I would also love to hire enough folks to really play the songs in their entirety.  Sometimes playing with a limited set of folks can spark inspiration, but I would love to have the budget to really have all the moving parts of the songs verses relying on tracks to cover some of that ground.  Then enough left over in the budget to give everyone in the crowd a new car…

What is encouraging about being an independent musician today?

Accessibility is the most encouraging part of being an independent artist today, everything from home recording to costs of gear has completely changed.  10 years ago, I wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing, with the advancements of home recording you can pump out a quality product without breaking the bank.  Also seeing the reissuing of vintage synth gear has been incredible, Roland specifically has reissued vintage synths from the 80’s and 90’s that would be thousands of dollars used, but now come in a compact form for around 400 bucks. 

Check out the band’s “Back To You” Playlist below, songs they handpicked as having informed their creative process:

Follow the band on Instagram.

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