I wish Los Angeles had more shows that ended at 9 PM. On Saturday night, I got to see a dope local band Night Talks headline a show and make it home before 10:30. More of that, please.
Before I even knew they were musicians, I actually met most of the band at Outside Lands 2016 while camping the main stage all day for Radiohead (and I may have been on psychedelics, I can’t confirm or deny) and then a few months later I saw The Satellite tweet about a show they were putting on and I clicked the picture and it was them. What are the odds?
When I checked out their music I was stoked to discover they had a vintage rock sound and that the singer Soraya Sebghati had a really unique and distinct voice — like if Zooey Deschanel fronted a powerhouse rock band. Their 2017 album In Dreams is really strong, one you can listen to all the way through without skipping anything.
They kicked off their set with a new song that Sebghati punctuated by mentioning they had written it just two days earlier. The song was pretty tight for coming together that recently. Another new song was one that Sebghati preceded by mentioning every band has an “ego song” and all those songs are written by men, so this one was hers. Sebghati took her voice to places I really remember only FUEL singer Brett Scallions being able to go. She has a voice that could blow down all three little pigs’ houses.
The rest of the band is very tight and brought solid backup vocals when necessary. The standout track from their album to me is “Green” and it stood out as my favorite song at the show. The slow build and guitar riff that comes before Sebghati explodes in the chorus is excellent.
One of the things that struck me while watching the show was I can’t think of another rock star that looks like Sebghati. An Iranian-American, it’s pretty fucking cool to have that kind of badass frontwoman for younger girls that look like her to look up to and think, “I can be a rock star.”
When I took my niece to Outside Lands last year, seeing the look on her face when we saw Warpaint, a female four-piece rock band who all slay on their instruments, really set something off in her head that she could do that — and she asked for a guitar for Christmas a few months later. There’s not the same kind of representation of women of color in rock — particularly of Middle Eastern descent — and Sebghati is someone that young girls could look up to and be inspired by.
Night Talks is a band that sounds straight out of the era when vinyl was the only way to listen to music in your home. It only makes sense that they’re coming around in a time when vinyl is a thing again, their sound has the texture that goes hand-in-hand with pulling a record out and dropping a needle on it.