Moving from one life milestone to the next can feel disorienting. “Let’s Talk” explores that loss of identity and out-of-place feeling through a phone call to an old lover.
Johnny Cisneros’ storytelling extends beyond the self-reflective lyrics. From the opening bars, he sets up tension with the beeps of a phone and a ring. We only hear two rings and a sigh before he launches into the heart of the song.
His sparse harmony evokes the loneliness and ungrounded feeling he hopes a familiar voice can banish. The lyrics feel half addressed to his former lover and half to himself. “I’ve been pushing on, pretending like I’ve been alright,” sounds more like self-revelation than conversation.
The incredibly steady bassline, falling almost exclusively on the beat, rhythmically pulses. The purposeful stagnation holds us in a state of dreamlike uncertainty. Sparkling synths mirror the simple melody, like unspoken words Johnny is waiting to hear.
And at the end, we finally hear the other party. A simple, “hello.” The internal monologue ends, and the real conversation begins. But with hesitating silence, “Let’s Talk” concludes.
Stream “Let’s Talk” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.