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L.A. artist Celeste Tauchar goes by the performing name of “talker” because that’s how people have mispronounced her last name over the years. She’s releasing her debut album I’m Telling You The Truth on June 21 and each track is like truth serum – offering even deeper revelations than she’s provided on her previous three EPs.


While talker has plenty of musical influences – including Japanese Breakfast, Wolf Alice and Sheryl Crow – her music defies easy comparisons. Her lyrics have more in common with great poets like Ada Limón than with most of today’s pop artists. Her music is equally distinctive. Even the melody-masters on pop’s Mount Rushmore (Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift) would have been proud to pen songs like talker’s “Personal Space” and “IRL”.


The greatest pop choruses of all time are hypnotic and instantly singable, like Sheryl Crow’s “Every Day Is A Winding Road”. You can now add talker’s latest single to that list. The chorus of “Everything Is Something (I Never Saw Coming)” wins you over immediately with its brilliantly propulsive bass line and incredible hook.


We caught up with talker as she gets ready for a West Coast tour this summer:


“Everything Is Something (I Never Saw Coming)” has a fabulous hook and sonic texture. What prompted you to write it…and where was it recorded/produced?


Thank you! It was really fun to make. I wrote & recorded it in Nashville with my friends Collin Pastore & Jake Finch. I also collaborated with them on “Easygoing” and another track on the album, “Say My Name”. This was one of the first songs I wrote for the album, at a time when I really didn’t know what direction I was going to take the next batch of songs. I also was feeling pulled in a lot of directions and like life was throwing me a lot of unexpected curveballs. Honestly I felt a little crazy. So I wanted to write something that captured that feeling, and was a reminder that even though we can’t control anything, we can at least have fun through the chaos.

On your new album there’s a song called “When It Starts” that’s hypnotic and dreamy. What’s the backstory on that song?

I have a few songs that are about the constant onslaught of our obsession with productivity. I’m just as guilty as anyone. Honestly, I’m like addicted to productivity and trying to get as much done as possible. It’s some illusion of having any semblance of control (which like I mentioned above, doesn’t exist). I recently listened to an episode of Philosophize This that did a really great job of unpacking how, by putting the responsibility on people to just work hard enough and leaving it up to them to rise to the top, it’s another way of controlling the middle class and makes us so much more depressed and anxious than is necessary – and way more than is healthy. Now, instead of it being very explicit that you are born into a class and can’t really rise to the top, there’s an illusion that you can, but when that inevitably doesn’t work out, it’s your fault and it’s your own laziness and lack of effort keeping you down. It’s brilliant. But I digress.

When I get into a particularly crazy phase of being overbooked and overworked, it can feel like a nonstop conveyor belt that I can’t get off of. It’s very hypnotic and it does start to feel like the only reality. I feel guilty when I’m not working. And I was very much in one of those places when I wrote this song. It’s pretty self-explanatory: “I might be dead when my life begins.”

Did you ever go on Mormon missions in your teen years, and what was the most difficult thing about growing up Mormon? Conversely, what are some things that were good about your Mormon upbringing?

Oh man I could go on forever, so trying to reel myself in here. So, Mormons don’t really go on the typical type of mission that a lot of us think of with Christian mission trips. They are technically teenagers, yes, but they go at like 18 or 19 and actually go for two years. It’s kind of fucked up – they’re only allowed to talk on the phone or Facetime with their family on a couple select days, I think it’s like their birthday and Christmas. Everything else is fully dedicated to the church.

My upbringing within the Mormon church was a little looser and not totally conventional. Neither of my parents grew up Mormon, and they joined when I was five. My mom is from Germany and the church is extremely American. I mean, it was started by a guy in upstate New York who wanted to start his own religion. A lot of the cultural norms in the church are very American and so my mom never really pushed a lot of things on me, because she just inherently had a different viewpoint in that regard to a lot of people in it.

I stopped going to church by the time I was like….a freshman in high school, I think. Honestly, a difficult thing for me was a lot of the baggage around it. Even though I knew it wasn’t for me and never really fit any sort of stereotype you may think of with Mormons, I was known as being Mormon and so for example, didn’t get invited to parties or certain, albeit reckless, things that are a totally normal and important part of growing up. And it was the only thing kids in the suburbs were really doing. There was a turning point where I made a point of letting people know that I was not part of that anymore and that mostly changed, but I was definitely a late bloomer and ended up being really sheltered in a lot of ways. I don’t think it’s good to send a kid off to college with them not having done a lot of the stupid shit with their friends in high school, while living with their parents.

It took me a really long time to not feel any shame around who I am, and not be afraid of expressing that. I don’t think it’s only the Mormon church, for the record – it’s most organized religion and Christian churches, especially in the U.S. My high school best friend went to one of the big Christian churches and had a lot of similar experiences in that way.

I don’t really have anything positive to say about it, honestly. I think that, growing up in California, it was a lot more laid back than if it were in Utah. It is definitely not as insane here and there’s a bit more openness to other ideas, other people, etc. I think a lot more people pick and choose what works for them than would like to admit. But ultimately, even if the people are nice, I know they think I’m going to hell. Not that I really care what they think. I think their religion is fake. Joseph Smith wanted to start a religion to have power and be able to marry a bunch of young girls, and he loved beating women. People didn’t go from Israel to North America before Christ, it’s literally historically inaccurate, nonstarter. Next.

You travel internationally enough to make me wonder whether you’re secretly in the CIA. What country on earth would be your favorite place for a talker tour?

Haha, it is definitely what I spend all of my money on when I probably should be saving more. But who knows how long I’ll be alive! No but honestly, a lot of my travel is because my entire family on my mom’s side all live in Germany. I was born there. So a lot of my travel involves visiting them and then playing tourist within a certain radius of that. And actually, my last international trip was also to see family because my uncle has been living in Taiwan for a few years. But I’m really lucky to have the flexibility to take these trips, and I don’t take it for granted.

I just went to Japan for the first time after visiting my uncle in Taiwan, and I feel like I just barely got to scratch the surface. So I’d love to go back and tour Japan and visit a lot more of that country. It was life-changing.


Story: Larry McClain  //  Photo: Trini Sin


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