Shadow Talk LP by Cafe Racer, album review by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Cafe Racer, Shadow Talk LP – ALBUM REVIEW #23

Shadow Talk LP is Cafe Racer’s second album, succeeding to the contemplative Famous Dust. These two albums are worlds apart, but not in a trial and error fashion.

Avid readers and followers of this blog already enjoyed a past Friday Feature introducing ‘Faces’, the second single out of Shadow Talk LP. This track was, after all, nothing but a majestuous tree concealing a dense, immense forest of sounds.

Born Yesterday Records’ name is now to us what the “seen on TV’ sticker was to older generations. A label of trust, a promise of full satisfaction. Challenge completed.

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Cafe Racer, Shadow Talk LP, our review:

A cure for the still

Born Yesterday Records accustomed us to energetic records, and Shadow Talk LP is no exception. Mindless dancing is one of this album’s (many) side effects, and not without inspiration. Imagine a band able to combine static new-wave lines with incontrollable and raw grunge energy. You get Cafe Racer, and the feeling is dangerously lasting.

A space for the dreamer

A few sentences ago we affirmed that Shadow Talk LP and Famous Dust were worlds apart. It is true, but there’s a sense of contemplation that Cafe Racer successfully brought back to the studio.

The energetic and contemplative tracks coherently intertwine, following a classic but clever formula. This way, the album’s richness is highlighted and neither overwhelming nor tiring. Also, this album displays classic songwriting qualities that are quite rare for the genre. Intuition and impulses meet organized and thoughtful structures.

Picture of the band Cafe Racer by Jason Neloms
Courtesy of Jason Neloms

Minimalism for the generous

Sonic generosity and intuitive honesty are at the core of this album. Discretion too. Surprisingly enough, this album is the kind of album that is perfect as background ambiance, but don’t get irritated when your guests will ask you to play this song or that song again. Some segments and movements are so inspired that you might end up agreeably irritating yourself.

Shadow Talk LP is timeless class, beaming talent and communicative energy. Catch that train and press “previous” regularly so your first discovery never ends. 

Cafe Racer, Shadow Talk LP.

Born Yesterday Records, available now.


Written and Performed by Cafe Racer: Michael Santana, Adam Schubert, Rob McWilliams, Andrew Harper, and Elise Poirier.
Saxophone on ‘Breathing’ performed by Spencer Ouellette.

Recorded by Douglas Malone at Jamdek Studios, Chicago, IL.
Mixed by Joseph Peven at Rat City Sound.
Mastered by Mikey Young. Album Artwork by Libbie Beaudet.
Released by Born Yesterday Records, 2020.

Outside picture of the band Cafe Racer by Jason Neloms
Courtesy of Jason Neloms

Written by  Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

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