Track Of The Day: Talking Violet – ‘Indigo’

Ontario four-piece Talking Violet have only released a couple of tracks so far in their career, with both taken from 2018 EP Round Dreams, but that has been enough for them to lodge firmly in our minds here at GIHE as purveyors of the dreamiest of dream pop sounds. For new single, ‘Indigo’, their first release for two years, the band have shown they’re not afraid to lean into the ethereal.

What’s most immediate on first listen is quite how much lead singer Jill Goyeau’s vocals are reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser: those stretched-out vowel sounds, weaving in and around the strummed guitar melodies of the song’s verses, before forming part of the swooping chorus are indicative of someone perfectly attuned to their craft. And what of that chorus; shoe-gaze guitars that creep in on the bridge suddenly and sonically drench the listener, as the rhythm section starts to flurry. Simultaneously controlled, impressionistic and emotional, it speaks to artists who perfectly grasp their chosen genre.  

The dreamy nature of the song is emphasised by Lourdes Lasala’s accompanying video, showing the band almost as a kind of Simpsons-esque family unit, all trying to squeeze on to the same couch, intercut with Jill, alone, singing the lyrics, or close-ups on the fish tank. It’s evocative of the escapism of youth, the closed in nature of the domestic milieu and, appropriately for the song’s title, it’s very purple. Given the band’s name, maybe there’s a theme there. With two more singles and an album promised for the rest of the year, it’ll be fascinating to see where on the rainbow Talking Violet turn up next.

John McGovern

Photo Credit: Lourdes R. Lasala

ALBUM: Dizzy – ‘The Sun and Her Scorch’

Canadian quartet Dizzy bring candid tales of lost love, introspection and acceptance on their sophomore album, The Sun and Her Scorch. The four-piece – consisting of vocalist Katie Munshaw and instrumentalists Alex, Mackenzie and Charlie – showcase an impressive sonic duality on their latest record as they move away from raw chaos and frustrated buzz of their debut album Baby Teeth, in to the mellow simplicity and resigned reality checks that come with growing up.

Opening with the haunting, hazy soundscape of ‘Worms’, Dizzy immediately draw you in with unassuming intrigue, as Munshaw’s dreamy vocal delivery blends with smooth guitar-led instrumentals. The track paints a vivid picture of the band’s childhood in Oshawa, Ontario, before following track ‘Sunflower’ ejects the album out of the nostalgic setting with its deceptively vibrant sonics. Where ‘Sunflower’ echoes the central theme of youthful uncertainty, indie anthem ‘The Magician’ charms with its effortlessly upbeat candescence.

The stand-out offering is the lyrically nuanced and delicately melodic ‘Good and Right’, which establishes the songwriting and storytelling prowess of Dizzy. It’s a skill they employ in other tracks, including the expansive yet immersive ‘Roman Candles’ and the light, cosy setup of Daylight Savings Time’.

Whimsical and experimental, the album offsets chirpy vocals of tracks like ‘Good and Right’ with straight-edged break-up tune ‘Lefty’, and atmospheric, pop-tinged ballad ‘Primrose Hill’ to an impressive effect that speaks of the fickle nature of 20-something dreamers. Perfectly book-ending the nostalgia of the opener, with final track ‘Worms II’ the band inject a last bit of colour and vibrancy with its changed lyricism, but leaves the soundscape unscathed as the tight grasp of times past remain.

Overall, The Sun and Her Scorch is a collection of anxious musings, candid observations and heartfelt contemplations, sprinkled occasionally with much-needed mirth and good vibes. This is an alt-pop production with lots of substance and little bit of simplicity, and with their second record Dizzy have proved that the impact of their first was no fluke.

Order your copy of Dizzy’s new album here.
Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Malvika Padin

Track Of The Day: TOPS – ‘Colder & Closer’

In anticipation of their fourth full length record, Montreal rockers TOPS debut a shimmering new single and music video for ‘Colder & Closer’.

With an atmospheric and dewy soundscape, TOPS showcase a sophisticated and emotive arrangement that is just as groovy as it is lean. With shades of retro ’80s pop and the crispness of modern dream-pop, ‘Colder & Closer’ is a treat to the ears both in its melodies and production. The tone of this single seems to live in the breath of its perfectly decaying delays and echoing reverbs.

TOPS have done a compelling job to musically illustrate the whirlwind of emotions discussed in their lyrics by meticulously mirroring human emotions in every layer of this track.

While alluding to the irony of social distancing and physical closeness to others (a particularly poignant theme right now), TOPS creates a “slip into nostalgia” for listeners with feelings of hesitation met with an eagerness to love throughout the song’s narrative. Nowhere are these thematic perspectives of loneliness discussed explicitly, rather they are implied throughout – seeping from the song’s chilling vocals to the groaning synths.

TOPS have truly elaborated on the artform of their genre in ‘Colder & Closer’ and set a powerful standard for their upcoming LP I Feel Alive.

Directed by Mashie Alam, watch the new video for ‘Colder & Closer’ here:

I Feel Alive, the upcoming album from TOPS, is out 3rd April via Musique TOPS.

Jillian Goyeau

Photo Credit: Justin Aranha

Track Of The Day: Dearly Beloved – ‘Race To The Bottom’

Long term faves, Toronto-based Dearly Beloved, make a welcome return to our ears with a brand new video to accompany the announcement of their upcoming new album, set for release in October.

Propelled by a racing, driving energy, ‘Race To The Bottom’ is an ode to the family-run businesses of the band’s first-generation immigrant grandparents. As the gritty howl of Rob Higgins accompanies the searing passion of Niva Chow’s vocals, relentless beats and raging hooks build, creating a gutsy slice of anthemic rock ‘n’ roll. Of the track, Higgins explains:

The song is a tribute to our grandmothers, who both ran convenience stores that Niva and I worked in as kids growing up. Their stories and achievements as immigrants to Canada that could barely speak English are even more incredible when you put them in the context of 2019.

Watch the trippy new video for ‘Race To The Bottom’ here:

Times Square Discount, the upcoming new album from Dearly Beloved, is out 25th October via Aporia Records. Catch Dearly Beloved live (I highly recommend doing this!) when they’re over in the UK this Autumn:

28th September – Patterns, Brighton
29th September – Scala, London
1st October – Fleece, Bristol
2nd October – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
3rd October – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
4th October – Broadcast, Glasgow
5th October – O2 Academy 2, Manchester

Mari Lane