New Zealand’s thrilling indie pop darling Isla Noon has released her sparkling new single Talk About Us, an infectious, layered track about trying to reach a partner who has closed themselves off, out July 2. The exciting new artist has also released a visually stunning video to accompany the song, directed by NZ music industry legend Mareea Vegas (bass player for Veruca salt and Tim Finn, behind the lens for Shapeshifter, Julia Deans (Fur Patrol), Anna Coddington). Talk About Us is the second single from Isla Noon, following her breathtaking debut Summer In August, released last year.
Talk About Us has all the makings of an absolutely classic pop smash – killer chorus, standout vocals, crisp, modern production and playful samples, all working together to inject powerful personality and charm into this striking bop. It’s like a combination of Maggie Rogers and Carly Rae Jepsen, but there is something electric that is unique to Isla Noon percolating within. Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Isla Noon reflects, “On the surface, ‘Talk About Us’ is about trying to reach someone in your life who has become closed off. It’s confronting, almost melodramatic. The song leans into the self-consciousness of that situation, the bargaining, the unravelling, the white-knuckled holding-on-so-tight that sees the other person slipping through your fingers. It can be a fuzzy place emotionally, and if you’re not careful, you can lose yourself in that place too. I wrote about it as something I and some close friends around me have experienced
Check it out here, more info below the Listicle.
Top 5 favourite video clips of all time
- Sigrid – Strangers.
I love this song, and this video worked as such a great introduction to Sigrid as an artist when it first came out. I love the concept of showing the ‘facade’ of a music video shoot to symbolise a relationship that’s all for show, that’s hollow beneath a shiny exterior. Sigrid sings they were like “strangers, perfect pretenders, we’re falling head over heels for something that ain’t real” as she interacts with the construction of a video set, flirts with a mannequin, hair blowing in the wind from a big industrial fan. I watched an interview where Sigrid revealed it was one of the first music videos she’d ever shot, and that none of the dancing was choreographed. They just put her in front of the camera and told her to be herself, move however came naturally to her. I think it paid off in a big way, with the resulting video feeling so pure and full of energy.
2. Haim – Want You Back
This is an iconic music video to me. Simple yet so captivating with subtle choreography that screams “we’re effortlessly cool and happen to walk perfectly in time, all the time”. I mean, it’s literally just them walking down the street at 6am, and yet it’s so slick and infectious. Also, I’m still hoping that one day I will find out I’m a long lost Haim sister. Just putting that out into the universe now.
3. Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me
Taylor’s album ‘Fearless’ was a pivotal album for me in my early teens, and I remember watching the video for ‘You Belong With Me’ over and over in 2009. It’s like a whole teen film in under 4 minutes – efficient, at the very least. The story is a classic aspirational teen romance narrative that has since become really nostalgic for me. Who didn’t want to be Taylor in this music video? What 13 year old didn’t believe somewhere deep down that this miiight happen to them? It took me 10 years to realise the “mean girl” in this video was actually just Taylor Swift in a wig. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
4. Beyonce – Single Ladies
I’m clearly a sucker for a simple concept executed to perfection, and Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ is pretty much the blueprint. The fact that all the lighting was happening in the room, not in post-production blows my mind. The whole thing is so masterfully put together. Need I say more? This was GENIUS. Man, 2009 was a killer year for music videos.
5. Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over
The first time I watched the video for “When The Party’s Over”, it stayed with me for days. Incredible song aside, Billie’s concept is, again, so simple and yet so striking. They honed in on such a singular intensity that becomes more and more haunting, as the black tears stream from Billie’s eyes and she sings “yeah I could lie, say that I like it like that, like it like that”. After watching her documentary ‘The World’s A Little Blurry’ and seeing the home video she made where she acted out this whole music video, directing her Mum in her place, I gained a whole new level of respect for Billie’s creativity and dedication. I would really recommend that documentary, too.
And now for my own! Watch the music video for my new single ‘Talk About Us’ here.
The clip for Talk About Us is chic, honest and brilliantly reflective of who Isla Noon is as an artist. It plays with light and energy as she sings alone about trying to reach a partner. Speaking about the creation of the clip, the pop songstress says, “The song has a melodramatic quality with a raw centre underneath, so we kept it intimate with mostly tight framing, and played on these elements with lighting and my two ‘looks’ in the video. I had a strong vision in terms of styling and was super fortunate to style myself in an absolute piece of art that is the ‘David Bowie Blouse’ by NZ designer Trelise Cooper, as well as a whole lot of gold glitter thanks to makeup artist Shania Hales.”
Talk About Us is the result of a wonderfully vast array of influences – Isla Noon credits her Dad’s love of 60s/70s folk songwriters, her Mum’s passion for the pop and disco of the 70s and 80s, as well as modern icons Robyn, Troye Sivan and MUNA for the brilliant cocktail of inspiration sparking the new single. This is a thrilling follow up single from this newcomer, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, pop enthusiasts around the globe should be keeping a very close eye on Isla Noon.
Talk About Us is out July 2 via Bigpop Records.