Varieties of Exile I

by Tallinn

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By the pool, aloe on my sunburnt skin, naphthalene fractions on the leeward wind: when the sanctions lifted, we rushed into the breach. The revolution is dead. We are the afterbirth, children of exile swamping the beach, an image of home we'd never seen. A map too coarse to see all the detail as we return again. Give me my terminal lassitude, shimmering with fever: a life in the subjunctive mood. With no eye for detail at once I can see whose benefit all this is for. My image of home: no fields clogged with marabu, overwhelming my eyes with the heat and detail, rereading eighties Didion...
In Borneo 02:56
Before the discovery down by the river's edge, we were the prospectors closing in. Pink diamond, black diamond, underground for millions of years, formed in the pressure of our parents' fears: my kiss will be light, sweet, and crude. Everyone follow me to Busang, by the river's edge. Jetsam on the surface that we'll skim... Pink diamond, black diamond, subducted for billions of years, how could we rise to the surface unflawed?
If you were the heir to a fortune from drying meat, curing and salting, could you renounce the wages of flesh? By you I mean me, unfettered and free, a shot in the sky away from the garden. Black sedan, red star: hear my prayer as we descend into Rome as it burns. On the radio, my parents intone they won't make a scene if I change my mind. But by now we're beneath the stars, glimmering in the stagflated sky. I lift my lips from the breast. Black sedan, red star: hear my prayer as we descend into Rome as it burns. Not kidnapped or starved, but escaping with the luck that I've earned. Unfettered and free in a world like me in its unintegrated desires.


Tallinn is the New York-based project of Scott Whittaker. Debuting on ZOOM LENS with "Special Economic Zone" (2015), the project has come to be musically defined by jazz-inflected soft-rock, corroded by shoegaze noise and post-punk textures.

"Varieties of Exile I" is Tallinn's latest release. The 1st in an ambitious trilogy of EPs which deal with the experiences of filial anxiety and privileged delusion.

Through "Varieties..." Tallinn seeks to reveal the commodification and self-delusion beneath his perceived musical/personal identity, recognizing the reality of consequence and decay that lies beyond the surface of everyday life.

The lead single & video "The subjunctive mood" directed by Adriana Alba addresses these issues, focusing on naivety vs. the reality of consequence. The narrators in the track personifying ex-pat families, imagining their lives as a multi-cultural experience, but at the edge of realizing that they're instead living as “modern day colonialists.”

However, this is not meant to signify a self-focused guilt. Rather, it is meant to share the individual perspectives which attach to our younger selves, limiting our knowledge, and warping our sense of internal and external reality.

‘The subjunctive mood’ perfectly encapsulates the themes of "Varieties..." echoing with the lines “The revolution is dead and we are the afterbirth: children of exile swamping the beach. An image of home we'd never seen, a map too coarse to see all the detail as we return again.”


released August 1, 2018

'The subjunctive mood' (Official Video)

Artwork by Hazel Lee Santino

Mixed & Mastered by Warren Hildebrand


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ZOOM LENS Los Angeles, California



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