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Tunes

Best tunes of 2012: #4 July Talk “Paper girl”

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I originally came across the video for “Paper girl” quite by accident, while searching for something else, and was so enthralled that I thoroughly forgot what that something was. In the video (and the song), Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay, the nucleus of July Talk, play upon multiple levels of dichotomy: rough/smooth vocals, ugly/cute attitudes, old/new sound, male/female gender identities, and well, you get the picture. The video pits the vocalists (and their alter egos) against each other, him loud and brash and her delicate but defiant. It’s fun to watch play out again and again.

July Talk are an alternative rock band based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The story of their formation in the bio that used to appear on their website smacked of the stuff of legend: boy hears girl singing in a smoky bar in the early hours of the morning, decides she’s his muse, tracks her down and they form a band. They rounded out said band and sound with Ian Docherty (guitar), Josh Warburton (bass), and Danny Miles (drums). The group has released three studio albums since forming in 2012, each garnering them more and more fans, but in my opinion, neither of the latter two can touch the excellence and originality of the self titled debut.

Much of “July Talk” mines another era for its blues infused chaotic sound but brings its anachronism into the new millennia. The growling and gnarling Tom Waits interplay with the bedroom confessional popster that holds her own is a story that runs throughout the album but “Paper girl” as track three is the shining example. It takes the Pixies’ loud-quiet-loud structure to extreme, seesawing between dirty and aggressive guitars and drums and angelic keyboards. And just like the duelling vocals in a certain song by The Pogues, the Dreimanis and Fay personas rail and thrash at each other, just before they fall passionately and resignedly into each other’s arms.

“Yeah, it must be hard
To watch your body growing old”

 

“And I’ll be laughing in your head until I want to stop
And if you think it’s your turn to explain yourself, it’s not”

It’s a song for turning up loudly when there’s no one else around and for singing along with to both parts because neither is right and neither is wrong but together they work.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2012 list, click here.

Categories
Live music galleries

Live music galleries: July Talk [2014]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)

July Talk live at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2014

Artist: July Talk
When: July 11th, 2014
Where: River Stage, Ottawa Blues Fest, Lebreton Flats Park, Ottawa
Context: I finally got to see the Toronto-based indie rock band, July Talk, a couple of years after the release of their debut, self-titled album. By this time, they had built up a following and quite a bit of buzz on backs of their live show and unique sound. You might notice that the majority of the photos here focus on the principal vocalists Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis and this is because when seeing them live, it’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off them. On the record, their vocals play off one another, his rough-hewn and hers angelic pop and live the two of them played the Mars versus Venus game right to the end. Fun, fun show.
Point of reference song: Paper girl

Peter Dreimanis of July Talk
Ian Docherty of July Talk
Leah Fay of July Talk
Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay of July Talk
Leah Fay of July Talk and some random fan