Blending elements of shoegaze, jangly guitars and indie pop, there’s much to be excited about with the release of Tallies’ eponymous debut album. They are a Toronto-based four-piece, fronted by Sarah Cogan, with lead guitarist Dylan Frankland, bassist Stephen Pitman, and drummer Cian O’Neill. One of the themes of Tallies is the universal impact of adulthood hitting you whether you’re ready or not. It’s the band’s soundtrack for adjustment throughout a year of change.
Opening track ‘Trouble’ is a song about naivety and being unable to foresee potential danger, especially as a woman. ‘Mother’ touches on the transition from being an adolescent -dependent on your parents – to a mature, independent adult (“leave your past tomorrow, don’t leave those skulls to dry”). There is a mixture of joy, nostalgia and sweet sadness, like memories of lost childhood and adolescence put to music, in tracks like ‘Mother’, and ‘Eden’. The music may be uplifting but the lyrics offer a dark undercurrent, put to exceptional guitar lines.
A more reflective mood features in the swirling textures of ‘Trains and Snow’ and the dreamily acoustic ‘Midnight’, whereas lead track ‘Beat the Heart’ explores the lack of empathy that exists, capturing our ears with the perfect production of smooth pop vocals, melodic hooks. Similarly, ‘Easy Enough’ reflects on changing relationships, whilst ‘Giving Up’ addresses global warming (“the embers they’re burning… cover me like a white sheet…giving up, no sign of change”).
Listen to this album as you gaze out at the January moon, the dreamy memories of salad days in your ears, and you will love this album as much as I do. If you’re old enough to have danced to the likes of The Smiths, Cocteau Twins and The Sundays, then you’re in for a trip down memory lane, as Tallies rework the best of their influences into their own fresh sound. If not, then welcome to the rediscovery of a sound that remains timeless (if the music doesn’t grow old, neither will the fans!).
Tallies is out now via Fear Of Missing Out Records.
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Photo Credit: Alex Gray