Yea But This Is Life We’re Living—A Guide To July Talk

By Felipe Vallejo, featured photo via Collective Arts Brewing

One of the best feelings as a music lover is to hear that a local band has made it big in their respective scene. In Toronto, nothing can compare to how July Talk has been taking the indie scene by storm. Upon releasing their most recent effort, Touch, they have had two of their singles go #1 in the Canadian Alternative Radio Charts. Their mix of blues, garage, and indie rock is as marvelling as the contrast between the voices of the two lead singers, Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay. After listening to Touch, I instantly became hooked on Peter’s rough growls and its relationship with Leah’s soft and sensual voice. Their polarizing sound mixed with the hard rock sound of their instrumentalists results in an unpredictable-yet-sensational sound that leaves the listener wondering how in the world this band came to be…. and why they didn’t listen to them sooner.

Here is a guide of the local Toronto-based indie rock band that has shaken up the indie scene; July Talk.

 

Guns and Ammunition

Guns + Ammunition was their most popular song to come out of their self-titled debut album. This is for good reason, as it showcased their gritty indie rock sound with Leah’s haunting vocals and Peter’s rough-around-the-edges sound. Overall, the song is harsh yet strong, and will surely make anyone listening head bang.

 

Paper Girl

Paper Girl is also from their debut album, demonstrating how perfectly distinct Peter and Leah’s voices are they act as a surprisingly flawless combination. They surround the gruff of Peter’s voice with hard guitar and drums, and contrast it for Leah’s voice with a soft keyboard sound. In the end, they join forces to create a fantastic finale where both voices and sounds fight in perfect rock harmony.

 

Summer Dress

Summer Dress is arguably the best song on the album, establishing a blues-rock thunderstorm from which Peter and Leah build upon and mold it into a rock anthem worthy of any garage-rock lover’s top ten list. Try to keep this one out of your head.

 

Gentlemen

Gentlemen is one of their most downtempo songs off of their self-titled, mixed with rough power chords and light drumming, but the concoction of the sedated instruments with the aggressive vocals of Peter and the fragile almost childlike voice of Leah, leaves the listener yearning for more.

 

Picturing Love

Picturing Love is the first track of their second and most-recent album Touch. This song shows their transition from their aggressive and tense sound that was on their self-titled album into a more pop-like sound while still retaining their rough garage rock style. Don’t worry, Peter and Leah voices still kick ass despite their transition.

 

Beck + Call

Beck + Call proves to the listener that they’re still sticking to their roots and has their unyielding garage-rock signature written all over it. Peter’s grunts, pants, and groans provide cover for Leah’s melodic tones until the end, when they come together and mix their voices for a dramatic yet dynamic conclusion.

 

Push + Pull

If you want to talk about dynamic, Push + Pull is arguably the band’s most high-octane song. It was the first single they released for the new album, Touch. What a release it was. Using Leah’s spirited voice to build the emotion, Peter’s growls sustain it. Together, with the ever-straining rock of the rest of the band, the song builds to a climax that leaves Peter alone in his hoarse voice before tuning the rest of the band in for a killer finale that leaves the listener thrashing their bodies as much as Peter and Leah do in the music video.

 

Strange Habit

Strange Habit is the most lethargic, yet beautiful song they have written to date. A song reflecting the emotions of a toxic relationship, the sound of a haunting piano mixed with the smooth drumming and eerie guitar, setting the playing ground for Peter and Leah to deliver a stirring performance that is riddled with powerful and passionate undertones. It is truly a poignant masterpiece.  

 

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