Abe Parker: “Talk”

By: Eric Reyes
May 23, 2021

A good cover is something tricky to pull off. Abe Parker makes it look easy, with this delightfully chill cover of Khalid’s ‘Talk.’

Losing none of the style and character of the original while making it all his own, Abe Parker creates something special here. Stripping down the track to bare essentials, incorporating some ‘church’ instruments like a piano, a simple organ and a simple mix, the track takes on a softer, more intimate tone.

The production here enhances this intimate, church hall vibe. Soft echoes like it’s just us and the band, a private show, over coffee, or something less harsh. A brilliant beam of light dividing the room, leaving him half in shadow. Little motes of dust flit in and out of the light, and he sways in back and forth, the words, the sound, flowing through him.

His voice has this kind of tired quality that still has plenty of light and warmth to it. It doesn’t feel as though he’s at the edge of sleep, but rather that he’s sunken into the vibe of the track and is moving along with it, forming the syllables as they need to be formed. When he gets to the higher end of his vocal range, that’s where we get this kind of casual excellence in his ability. It flutters, then rings out bright and true. But there’s a bit of gravel to his voice elsewhere, where he keeps it low and slow and smooth. Instead of dwelling there throughout the track, he lets the lyrics and the mix work with him, really finding his stride and showing that it all is coming together to create this unique, dreamy sound.

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