Indie Mixtape 20: Talker Manifests Her Inner World On The Cathartic EP, ‘In Awe Of Insignificance’

Those who live in areas with clear night skies understand the impact of star-gazing. It puts into perspective just how small we are in the grand scheme of things — a thought that can be both terrifying and invigorating. LA-based musician Celeste Tauchar, who makes music under the moniker Talker, knows this feeling all too well. Tauchar is inspired by her own insignificance and uses the feeling to re-examine what’s really important on her upcoming eight-track EP In Awe Of Insignificance.

After making music in various projects for years and touring with the electro-pop group FRENSHIP, Tauchar decided to develop a solo sound. Tauchar’s upcoming EP was the result of intentional vulnerability, something she couldn’t have done without the encouragement of her community. Throughout eight tracks, the singer delicately explores themes of mental health and self-growth over cascading guitars and disco-inspired beats.

Ahead of the release of In Awe Of Insignificance, Tauchar sat down with Uproxx to discuss musicians who inspired her music, her best concert experience, and her love of pirozhkis in the latest Indie Mixtape Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Catharsis, glitter, sunsets, intimacy.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I hope this isn’t too unrealistic of a prediction! I want my music to be remembered (and viewed) as the manifestation of my inner world. Everything is intentional, from the soundscapes to the visuals to the way I describe it. I try to view it as one big art project cause that makes it more fun for me and I hope people can view it with that lens as well.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

I love performing in Seattle, I’ve never had a bad night there. Also, I got to perform in Madrid while touring with FRENSHIP a few years ago and it was one of my favorite performance experiences as well — a crowd I still haven’t forgotten and I really hope to get back there with Talker.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

I really don’t think there’s one person who has single-handedly most inspired my work. Especially because I think that it has shifted depending on where I’m at in life. So I’m gonna be a brat and give you a few: Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie has had one of the biggest influences on my songwriting and I think he has really influenced my approach to narrative and visual tools in songwriting. David Byrne and Talking Heads have had a huge impact on my love for the weird and learning to take risks and pursue the theatrical — something that I was afraid to do when I started this project and have really opened myself up to more on this record. And Mitksi is the last one I’ll name here for now. I think there are obvious comparisons you can make, but in particular, seeing her live in 2019 reignited a desire in me that I had lost for a while. She was such an incredible performer, there were props, there was dance, and it was such a great reminder that regardless of genre you can be big and bold and make it something bigger.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

Dishoom in London. It’s possibly a bit overrated but it’s also just really good. And there are others but I can’t remember their names!

What album do you know every word to?

The Jonas Brothers’ self-titled album. It will never leave my brain.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

Okay please don’t judge me but I saw The 1975 at the O2 in London like five years ago when they were recording their live album. It was so magical because I happened to have an overnight layover in London on my way to visiting family in Germany so I got tickets and took the subway straight from Heathrow to the arena and then just kind of found myself there by myself taking it all in. It was also a great show but it was just kind of this wild jet-setting solo traveling experience.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

I love a crop top and wide-leg high-waisted pants. It makes me feel really good about myself but I can also run around and kick my legs in the air and throw myself on the ground without worrying that people can see up my clothes.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

I follow this account on Instagram called artworkunity and it’s my favorite thing ever. I get so stressed out looking at social media. I try to avoid looking at it in the middle of the day. But I love this account because it’s just like videos of people creating really incredible and soothing art pieces.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

My drummer JR loves Madonna and really got me into her on one of our tours. I don’t know about a specific song but she funny enough might be one of the artists I’ve listened to the most in the van.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

“Who were the beat poets.” LOL. I’m currently reading On The Road and wanted a comprehensive list of everyone that culture considers “beat” just to see who was on there.

What album makes for the perfect gift?

Any classic. For me, it would be The Beatles White Album or Queen’s A Night At The Opera.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

One time I was playing in Orlando and our tour manager at the time booked us an Airbnb. When we got there, what was supposed to be enough beds for 6 adults turned out to be a bunch of twin beds with Disney sheets. The guys’ feet were all sticking out past the end of the bed. And I vividly remember finding a bunch of corn nuts in the couch. I try not to think about it.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

I love all of them. But my favorite is probably my moon phases tattoo on my left arm. It’s super simple but it’s in a style I love, based on María Medem’s art, and serves as a reminder to me to move with the changing tides instead of trying to fight against it. It’s also my biggest tattoo so it kind of broke this barrier for me — my prior ones were all in places I could easily hide them, but this one was like. Here it is! So now I feel more excited to get new, bigger pieces.

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

I really don’t listen to the radio very much. I use it to tune everything out so I basically just listen to KJazz.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

This is such a tough question because I don’t know that I’ve ever had some sort of extreme gesture — I’ve been lucky to not need any sort of grandiose thing in life. But there have been a lot of really amazing people in my life who have deeply impacted my trajectory and I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I have a group of incredibly supportive collaborators and friends who champion me, and those who have been further along in this industry than me at one point or another have always sent my music to people and pushed for me to get opportunities. My roommates and household throughout COVID really became more of a family than any normal roommate relationship. We really operate like family, from the good to the bad and the obligations and the joys. I don’t know that there’s one thing. But I feel really lucky with the people who have come into my life.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Don’t be so desperate and let everything just take its time.

What’s the last show you went to?

I saw Real Estate play “Days” in full for the album’s 10th anniversary in December. It’s kind of crazy ’cause that was like, right before everything got insane again and I can’t imagine being at a show that big right now.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

Anything with Hugh Grant.

What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?

The same thing I would make for anyone else which is the one thing I consistently make any time I get to cook for someone: pirozhkis. They’re this Russian street food that’s kind of like a hot pocket but made from scratch and so so much better. My grandma has always made them for me cause I love them so much. I’m not sure where she got it from though because we’re not Russian, but I am obsessed with them.

In Awe Of Insignificance is out 3/25 via Wehearnoise Records. Pre-order it here.

Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.