Our new music feature Origins tasks artists with providing some behind-the-process insights into their latest single. Today, Claudio Sanchez returns to his The Prize Fighter Inferno moniker for “Sweet Talker”.
With work on Coheed and Cambria’s next record on hold during COVID-19, frontman Claudio Sanchez turned towards a project that had been largely dormant for nearly 15 years: The Prize Fighter Inferno. Writing new solo material became an outlet for dark times, as the trauma of the pandemic was compounded by Sanchez’s grandfather falling ill and his wife being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Out of that isolation comes The City Introvert, the first Prize Fighter Inferno full-length since the moniker’s 2006 debut, My Brother’s Blood Machine.
Out April 23rd via Evil Ink Records, The City Introvert was first hinted at in the spring of ’20 when Sanchez released “More Than Love”, “Death Rattle“, and “Crazy for You”. The trio of tracks were then included on June’s Stray Bullets EP alongside the title number and a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”. While that latter remake won’t be on the new album, Sanchez has today provided another listen to the effort with “Sweet Talker”.
Pulsing with layers of synthesizer that sound like Sanchez plundered an entire ’80s music shop, “Sweet Talker” feels like the very moment of epiphany. It builds and buzzes, pushing towards a universal truth it entreats the listener to hold onto: Make the most of what little time we have. “‘Cause when your last breath/ Fades you out/ Oh, there’ll be no words left/ For anyone to shout.”
Check out “Sweet Talker” ahead, followed by Sanchez’s Origins of all the song’s sounds — including that family moment on the bridge.
Debuting in a limited Ghostly Green variant, The City Introvert will be available for pre-order beginning March 12th at 10:00 a.m. PT on Evil Ink. The album cover art and tracklist are down below.
“Sweet Talker” was metaphorically written about a hostage situation. When Shelter-In-Place was issued in NYC (and wherever else) during the beginning stages of pandemic, many felt that way, like prisoners of their own home who couldn’t sweet talk their way out of our new and very real situation.
My Vintage Ribbon Synth:
In a room full of elaborate gear, “Sweet Talker” features a very cheap, ribbon synthesizer I purchased online, called Gakken SX-150 MkII. It appears in the second verse and feels like something out of the ’80s. It’s a moment on the record I get excited about every time it goes by.
Christmas Morning with My Family:
“Sweet Talker” also features a sample of my wife and son opening presents on Christmas morning. Using dictaphone samples was a thing I would do often as a teenager when recording songs on my 4-track, which I did again here.
Beeps, the Synth I Named After My Grandfather:
The City Introvert, in general, features a synth I acquired during quarantine that quickly became one my favorite. I named it Beeps after my grandfather. It’s the ARP2600.
The City Introvert Artwork:
The City Introvert Tracklist:
01. More Than Love
02. Death Rattle
03. Crazy for You
04. Stray Bullets
05. Rock Bottom
06. Holiday Fool
07. Sweet Talker
08. Roll for Initiative
09. She’s the Brains, My Sweetheart
10. Stay Where You Are