"Whoever did the music for The OC deserves some sort of award given to people that make TV shows, if such a thing exists..."
Brisbane’s emo-punks Talk Heavy returned with a new banger, The Song That Plays (When Marissa Shoots Trey) earlier this month, revealing an enthusiasm for early 2000s drama television and taking us back to the days when everyone from Death Cab For Cutie to The Vines had their music played on The OC. Pop culture and emo shook hands once again thanks to Talk Heavy.
Last year, Talk Heavy dropped their hit single-filled EP Jump Into Nothing, which subsequently led to their first-ever live performance at BIGSOUND, a hugely influential tour with Press Club, and a spot on the New World Artists roster. Little did Talk Heavy know that those Press Club shows would inspire their latest groove-laden track.
As live footage shows below, Talk Heavy are utterly electric as they perform a song “about recognising the bad space you’re in” at The Brightside in Brisbane.
Vocalist Matt Cochran explained about the track, “To put it simply, The Song That Plays (When Marissa Shoots Trey) is about recognising the bad space you’re in, what trauma or response pushed you into that position and making the statement of, ‘Fuck it, I’m done with this and need to move forward.’
“For me personally, I’ve always struggled with weight and comfort eating. I was so physically exhausted touring with Press Club that I couldn’t ignore it anymore, which pushed me to that point where I realised, 'If I don’t change something soon, I’m going to die in the next five to ten years.’”
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Engineered, produced and mixed by Cochran at Birthday Boy Studios, with third-wave emo legend Will Yip (Balance & Composure, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw) behind the mastering, The Song That Plays embraces the song’s subject with angst-driven instrumentation that still provides a sense of unity and support.
Wearing their love for 2000s teen dramas proudly on their chest, Talk Heavy used the song’s title to represent the tight-knit friendship between the band, serving as a glimpse into the bond the group share and the knowledge that Cochran is not alone in his journey.
“The title is obviously not related, but we just thought it was funny,” Cochran admitted. “Pat [Shipp, guitar] has rewatched The OC a bunch of times, but I hadn’t watched it since I was a kid. I was rewatching the show when this song was written and Pat suggested that as a title and we thought it was dumb but great, so it stuck.”
Seeing as the title of their latest single fits with The OC, Talk Heavy’s Pat Shipp and bassist Tayla Ellerby have rounded up their Top 10 OC Music Picks.
Tayla’s Top 5 (In No Particular Order)
Modest Mouse – Paper Thin Walls
In this episode during season two (featuring the fairly standard OC plot line where Marissa yells at everyone during a rich party near a pool and Sandy makes bagels), you can catch Modest Mouse playing Paper Thin Walls "live" at the Bait Shop. Every time I hear this song, it inevitably gets stuck in my head for three months.
The Killers – Mr. Brightside
Long before everyone was drunkenly singing Mr. Brightside at Ric's, The Killers were playing at the Bait Shop in The OC, surrounded by the chaos that was Ryan and Seth’s weird double date where they bumped into exes Marissa and Summer. I personally wish the Killers could play live at every small bar when I’ve bumped into an ex.
Placebo – Running Up That Hill (cover)
I have a running debate with my friend that this cover is better than the original – hey Monica, The OC also decided it was better. The song kicks in at the start of the season after the shocking end of season three. Brian Molko’s haunting vocals run through the scene showing that Ryan is working and living in the bar. I would argue that this is the highlight of season four.
Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas
This episode of The OC is the first episode we are introduced to Chrismukkah – Seth Cohen’s combination of Christmas and Hanukkah. I’m usually not a fan of Christmas songs (after years of retail work destroyed my soul through Westfield soundtracks), however, it’s hard to beat a combo of Conor Oberst’s sad vocals and two girls dumping Seth in the same episode.
All American Rejects – Swing Swing
I feel like almost every second teenage movie in the mid-2000s had Dirty Little Secret by All American Rejects blasting. But before this, we had the pilot episode of The OC pumping Swing Swing as Ryan rocks up to his first Orange County party. We have a collision of worlds as Seth is exposed to the "cool" group of The OC and Ryan sees how the rich socialise. The pilot sets up The OC to be a strong supporter of indie music on a big mainstream level.
Pat’s Top 5 (In No Particular Order)
The Dandy Warhols – We Used To Be Friends
This band had a great rise to fame around the same time that everyone was watching The OC (because everyone watched The OC when it came out, right?).
Whenever I hear a track from them I’m instantly reminded of different things from that early 2000s era, like flip phones and not being able to skate very well. The track We Used To Be Friends is used in probably the best opening scene out of the whole run of the show, in episode 12 of the first season. This scene is brilliant because it shows how funny Sandy and Ryan are, and everyone is also being mean to Seth, who in hindsight, is a trash bag.
Bloc Party – Blue Light
Another fantastic band that was sort of synonymous with The OC when it first aired, due to their rapid rise in popularity and the whole indie movement in general. The show uses a few of their songs in really interesting ways, with an altered version of Blue Light being used in the first episode of season three in one of the saddest scenes in the whole show. You’ll cry your eyes out.
Mazzy Star – Into Dust
Whoever did the music for The OC deserves some sort of award given to people that make TV shows, if such a thing exists (Fact Check: there are heaps and The OC won surprisingly few), because some of the tracks used were simply chilling. The use of Into Dust throughout the series carries so much weight that we nearly called our new song The Song That Plays (When The Gang Goes To Mexico).
The Vines – Ride
It was great to hear some Australian music being represented when The OC overtook the world as the most-watched TV show of all time, ever. The Vines were getting a lot of international attention around the early 2000s, so it was a good fit for their songs to be scattered throughout the series. Their song Ride is showcased in season one during a very scandalous story arc, the themes of which are surely still being discussed by academics to this day.
Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek
This is the real deal, the ultimate legit OC jam of all time. The artist that, at least within my group of friends, was the most Yahoo searched in the year 2003 following season two of The OC. There are a bunch of Imogen Heap songs used throughout the show, with an honourable mention to Speeding Cars as a beautiful graduation backdrop.
But Hide And Seek is the whole reason we named our new track what we did, which really is just a dumb joke about the greatest cliffhanger in teen angst history. I have never recovered from the end of season two, and the SNL skit doesn’t help.
Check out a Spotify playlist containing Pat and Tayla’s picks below. The Song That Plays (When Marissa Shoots Trey) is out now.