STYLISTBERLIN REVIEW: Pillow Talk “Je ne sais Quoi (Album)” (WLM35) OUT 17.03.2014

0 Comments 17 March 2014

PillowTalk has been on my radar for quite a while now as they were hyped immediately with their first release throughout Berlin. They have finally(!) released their first full length album, and in my opinion, it is a melodic orgasm for the listener.

PillowTalk’s “Je Ne Sais Quoi”: A melodic orgasm


Love the Mucha-esque album work, which represents the soft style of this dreamy, light album of PillowTalk.

Label. Wolf+Lamb
Artist. PillowTalk
Title. Je Ne Sais Quoi
Format. CD Album, Digital
Cat.Number. WLM35
Release Date. 17.03.2014


1. Our Story…
2. We All Have Rhythm
3. Devil’s Run
4. Slim’s Night Out
5. Lullaby
6. Meet Me in the Dark
7. The Night I Met Luther
8. If I Try
9. Homesick feat. Thugfucker
10. Naïve
11. 4 Walls feat. Jaw, Navid Izadi, Aquarius Heaven & Dina Moursi
12. LA to the Bay
13. DJ Tennis feat. PillowTalk TheOutcast (Acoustic Version)

Press Release:
“San Francisco threepiece live band PillowTalk are surprising dance music treasures. Manipulating pop melodies, classic R&B, soul and boogie into the loose rhythms of house music and performing live on stages in nightclub settings across the world, they have bridged an impossible gulf between worlds and created new expectations for electronic producers and live musicians alike.
Their success is twofold, for not only are they stand out performers capturing the stage with Sammy D’s bold and sultry vocals, multiinstrumentalist Ryan Williams’ dextrous guitar and keys and Mikey Tello’s fluid synth work (not to mention their matching classic black tie attire) they are also musical chameleons. As comfortable creating the upbeat80’s inspired synthpop heard in lead single ‘Lullaby’, as the psychedelic funk of ‘We All Have Rhythm’ and the classic rock and roll of ‘Devil’s Run’, PillowTalk also adeptly deliver slow electronic ballads (‘Naive’) and house driven anthems (‘If I Try’) for their eloquent debut LP, ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ on their home label Wolf + Lamb. A soundtrack to long nights, lazy days and the hazy space between sleeping and waking, the record spans everything you want from the band: sunsplashed jams, peaktime party tunes and lowlit moments of intimacy.”



“The broad nature of ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ came about because the record was pulled together from melodies thought up while on long plane journeys, impromptu jam throw downs in Berlin apartments and musical sketches created during epic studio sessions
sharing bottles of vodka. For instance, the offkilter R&B ghetto tech of ‘4 Walls’ happened during a late night session with the band throwing ideas around with friends DOP and Navid Izadi. “We wanted to challenge ourselves musically and lyrically, so we made the song at 144 beats per minute but still gave it a soul vibe,” says Michael. The song took ninety minutes to write and this organic and spontaneous approach is key to what PillowTalk are all about.

The final album session was recorded in Portland, Oregon, during a month in 2012, which allowed the band to work communally, drawing from various ideas and influences including the vast Americana of Bruce Springsteen, the wrought post dubstep of James Blake, the deep soul of Sam Cooke and the incendiary jazz of John Coltrane. The result is music to suit all times, with a subtle and magnetic atmosphere that is warm, lush and dreamy.

Though they’ve only been releasing records since 2011, the three members of PillowTalk have known each other for years. Meeting at social gatherings in their home of San Francisco, they have been neighbors and even roommates. They formed after the three were mucking around on the baby grand piano in Ryan’s kitchen. A guitar and a Wurlitzer, some offhand vocals, were thrown into the mix in true Doowop style. The result led to their first release on the Life and Death label, which soon led to further output on Visionquest, Kompakt, Life And Death, Bang The Box and a multitude of singing collaborations. ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ sees them stepping into their own as a band, a statement of intent born from the highs and lows of their loves, laughs and heartbreaks thus far.”

2. We All Have Rhythm: Electronica with vocals. This is the perfect companion for summer rides to the shore.

5. Lullaby: Finally a track on the album that can be played in the clubs! This is the sound we know and expect – PillowTalk at their finest!

6. Meet Me in the Dark: Feel the groove! Awesome piano on this one!! My favourite track of the whole album.

11. 4 Walls feat. Jaw, Navid Izadi, Aquarius Heaven & Dina Moursi: Awesome vocals and arrangement of sounds!!

Not all of the tracks are playable in clubs, but the whole piece of work is definitely an album that you can play on calmer occasions. Highly recommendable for people who want to listen to sophisticated sounds, and not the usual boring repetition of the same samples in tracks. PillowTalk releases an album that is worth listening to, amazingly fast after their debut… I definitely am surprised by the outcome.


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