Album review: July Talk

Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

After turning heads during this past June’s North by Northeast (NXNE) concert series and a brief tour supporting the Arkells in September, July Talk released their self-titled, debut album on Oct. 16.

If you’re thinking July Talk sounds vaguely familiar, it’s likely because you missed their opening set at the Tunes Against Tuition concert at Campus Commons in early September. While an empty campus at 1 p.m. may not have been the ideal setting to see leading band members Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay in action, July Talk will be returning to Kamloops on Oct. 31 to play a free Halloween show at Bailey’s Pub that you will not want to miss.

The contrasts presented by the black and white album art are immediately contextualized on the opening track as Dreimanis’s growl hauntingly dances around the bass line, only to be followed by Fay’s sickly sweet vocals entwined with the guitars’ slamming entrance. The first song, “The Garden,” seamlessly flows into “Guns + Ammunition” and the listener barely has time to grasp their bearings before Dreimanis forcibly grips you, chanting, “When you leave, I cannot sleep and when you leave my body shakes.” At this point you’re hooked and you want more.

Fay and Dreimanis continue to lead the listener into “Paper Girl” where Dreimanis spews, “I’ll be laughing in your head, until I want to stop,” characterizing himself in an authoritative position one can only imagine comes standard with a voice as deep as his.

July Talk runs full course, slowly bowing out with the slow-burning “Come Down Champion,” fading into the bluesy “I’ve Rationed Well,” ending the album just beyond the 30-minute mark.

The fleeting tension and angst depicted through the juxtaposing of Fay’s and Dreimanis’s voices makes it quite clear that she’s both his vice and muse. Complete with highs and lows, full blown rock ‘n’ roll to groovy synth layers, July Talk is an adventure.

See you all at the Halloween show.