Review of July Talk Album by July Talk

July Talk is a Toronto based collective of musicians who, with mere mortal instruments at their disposal, carve out a heavenly, melodic and jarring mish-mash of encyclopaedically influenced rock and roll. Their impassioned and diverse output speaks of a musical collaboration that transcends the boundaries of your usual garage jam. 

July Talk July Talk Album

Rock and roll history tells their story something like this: only a handful of years ago, in the afterglow of the return from a European tour with his band, frontman Peter Dreimanis met leading lady Leah Fay in a bar in Toronto. She sang, he listened, he was entranced. July Talk was formed around this intense meeting of voices, and the persistence of this entrancement is only too apparent in their music. 

Whilst we all know that one should never judge a book by its cover, it is hard to ignore that fact that, as a unit, July Talk simply look too beautiful and fragile to possibly produce the wonderful racket that they do. The duelling vocalists carry off such distinctive styles in such close juxtaposition, working to unexpectedly great effect - Dreimanis is all gravel, verging at points on the archetypal heavy metal roar, Fay is sweet, clear and a little melancholic around the edges. Vocally and lyrically, in the most compelling way, much of this album feels like an infatuated catalogue of mutual musical adulation: sweet, acerbic and terrifying in equal measure.  

The band released their first record 'July Talk' back in 2012, which has seen its global re-release with the addition of some juicy bonus tracks. The album jumps from the steely and sad opener 'Don't Call Home' via 'Guns and Ammunition' a dark, stark, percussion driven slice of artfully layered noise to 'Summer Dress', a stand-out single which blasts forth like a jubilant sun-beaten stroll with sinister undertones. They don't do understated, but they do seem to do everything else. While snatches of their music clearly wears its influences on its sleeve, blues, Americana, alternative rock, indie rock and many others in between, they are most often artfully blended together in such a complex way that each track feels like an exploration, treading old paths on a journey in to a new sonic landscape. 


Carla Washbourne

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