Myrtle Beach’s rising alternative/pop band Small Talks has been the talk of the scene for some time now, but with the components of their debut album it is more apparent than ever that this band is everything you’ve been looking for. The debut full-length record, A Conversation Between Us, officially released today via Common Ground Records, doubles as both a successful musical transition into the pop genre and a compelling lyrical memoir by Cayley Spivey. Without a doubt, Small Talks draws in an attentive audience by the very first track of this record.

A Conversation Between Us opens up with the most ‘pop’ song on the record, “Better For It”. Fans of the band’s more mellow and emo release, Until It Turns To Petals (2017), may experience a bit of a shock factor as the track starts with a looping voice track and striking guitar riff reminiscent of 90’s-pop. Regardless of your expectations, when the chorus kicks in with its disco-esque melody and pulsing beat, you’ll catch yourself in a trance that can’t be broken until the song’s end. Previously released singles “Oceans” and “Quiet Sounds” follow on the tracklist and stand out as the two tracks most analogous to the band’s 2017 EP, whereas “Teeth” gave us an emotive glimpse into what direction the remainder of the album would go in.

What makes songs like “Teeth” and its cousin ballads “Bed” and “Never Made It” so impressive as slower tracks is the usage of layers that create a musical intricacy. Particularly with “Bed”, the song unfolds deeper as instrumentals build upon another until it reaches a synthy crescendo in the final verse. Undeniably, Spivey is the most vulnerable and expressive lyrically in this song, especially when she sings in finality, “I hope I’m not taking up too much of your space, that anyone could occupy better.”

Other highly notable tracks are “Anybody” and “Honeydew”. It may only be February, but these songs will find their way to your summer playlists for sure–“Anybody” with its swooning lyrics, soft vocal melody, and persistent beat; and “Honeydew” bringing back that infectious 90’s-pop vibe. If you’re going to do pop, you’ve got to do it right for it to truly stick, and Small Talks did exactly that.

It’s clear this album boasts Spivey’s genre diversity and writing capabilities as it bounces with ease from inherently pop-punk tracks like “Nicotine & Tangerines” to piano-driven serenades like “Never Made It”. However, what separates A Conversation Between Us from other breakout pop releases is the narrative. The album quite literally reads like a conversation between Spivey and another (or others), telling a story through poetic catharsis as the tracklist continues on. Spivey has let down her walls, crafted her thoughts, and put them to music, creating an impenetrable connection between her and her listeners.

A Conversation Between Us is officially out today. The record is available for stream or purchase here.