Tallies Share “Special”

The Toronto-based band Tallies are today sharing their new single “Special” which comes as another preview of the band’s forthcoming second album, Patina, which is out 29th July via Bella Union. The latest single arrives following a string of recent tracks which have found support at Stereogum, Paste, Clash, Under the Radar, Exclaim and Brooklyn Vegan.

Speaking about this new single, singer Sarah Cogan says: “Special is about longing to be seen and heard by those who matter to you most. Sometimes feeling invisible is particularly painful when the indifference comes from someone whose opinion means a lot to you.”

Nostalgia: it’s a fickle beast, isn’t it? Everyone loves music that evokes a strong sense of days gone by, but stare through those rose-tinted glasses too long and you lose the magic of the present. With their brand new sophomore album, Patina, Toronto-based indie pop band Tallies have found a way to expertly walk that razor-thin tightrope, nodding to their favourite bands of the past while transforming their sound into something tight, bright, and undeniably fresh. 

Tallies started in earnest when singer Sarah Cogan, guitarist Dylan Frankland, and drummer Cian O’Neill began collaborating in late 2017. All throughout their career, they dove into the bands that would influence their sound–the Sundays, the Smiths, Aztec Camera–all while adding their own signature elements; Sarah’s airy-yet-arresting vocals, Dylan’s stunning gossamer guitar work, Cian’s astronomic drumming.

They got down to business quickly and in 2019 their debut self-titled album was released on Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada and Kanine Records in the United States. Solidifying the band’s status as Canada’s leading dreampop scholars, its mix of upbeat pop hooks and heady, larger-than-life production won the band critical acclaim from the indie underground to the mainstream alike. They began work straight away on a second record, which would prove to be an even more life-affirming endeavour than their debut. 

All albums are labours of love by definition of the term, but the recording of Patina was particularly challenging at points. In the throes of the pandemic, the band was torn between the pressures of writing a record in lockdown, and using all the extra time they had to polish and refine what they had already begun. It was during this process that Tallies began a working friendship with one of their musical heroes—Simon Raymonde, ex-Cocteau Twins bassist and founder of Bella Union, caught wind of Tallies and made it his mission to sign the band. Through transatlantic phone calls, Tallies were able to deeply connect with a member of one of their favourite bands; “a light at the end of the tunnel,” explains Sarah.

The juxtaposition of light and dark is a strong theme in the music of Tallies. While many of their tunes are upbeat, with Dylan’s breezy guitar lines drenched in reverb, soaring over Cian’s propulsing drumbeats, Sarah’s lyrics can add a hint of shadow to even their most jangly tunes. Patina’s first single, “No Dreams of Fayres”, speaks of a severe depressive episode during Sarah’s teen years that was mirrored during the making of the album, while elsewhere on the record, “Hearts Underground” describes the slippier side of personal relationships over effervescent indie pop. “I think that’s an interesting part about the music,” says Dylan about these sonic contrasts. “There are these conflicting elements. The music can be upbeat, but you’re talking about the realities of life.” 

In addition to its tight songwriting and composition, Patina’s lush soundscapes were produced by Graham Walsh of the art-rock band Holy Fuck. The album also features Grammy-nominated cellist Michael P. Olsen (Arcade Fire, Drake) and percussionist Peter Anderson (The Ocean Blue), who also contribute the levelling-up of Tallies’ sound. 

There we are again: that balance of nostalgia and forward-thinking that Tallies do so well. Yes, they are holding the torch high for the dreampop fans, but have put in the work to appeal to alternative music fans of all ages. The title of the album’s closer says it all: “When Your Life Is Not Over” an ode to looking towards the future, not back into the things that defined you, but forwards into what you have the power to create. And for Tallies’ it’s clear that there’s much, much more of that to come.

Beach House Peform “Superstar” on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Last night, Beach House performed the Once Twice Melody single and standout “Superstar,” on The Late Show with Stephen ColbertNew York Times says of the song, “Beach House’s music contains many gifts, but it’s the group’s ability to magnify life’s small dramas into sky-sized emotions that glitters.”

Once Twice Melody features 18 tracks, and was presented in 4 chapters with lyric animations for each song. Watch the lyric animations for the entire album now at Beach House’s YouTube channel.  

Once Twice Melody is the first album produced entirely by Beach House, and was recorded at Pachyderm studio in Cannon Falls, MN, United Studios in Los Angeles, CA, and Apple Orchard Studios in Baltimore, MD. For the first time, a live string ensemble was used, with arrangements by David Campbell. Once Twice Melody was mostly mixed by Alan Moulder but a few tracks were also mixed by Caesar Edmunds, Trevor Spencer, and Dave Fridmann.

The album comes out on deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl, CD and cassette today in Europe.

Ezra Furman Announces “All Of Us Flames”

Ezra Furman today announces her new record, All Of Us Flames, out 26th August via Bella Union, and unveils the cathartic lead single, “Forever In Sunset.” Inside the world of All of Us Flames, the end of the patriarchal capitalist empire seems both imminent and inevitable, a turn down a path we can’t see yet but can’t avoid, either. Produced by John Congleton, All of Us Flames unleashes Furman’s songwriting in an open, vivid sound whose boldness heightens the music’s urgency. Following previous singles “Book Of Our Names” and “Point Me Toward The Real”, “Forever In Sunset” peers past the scorch of the apocalypse into a vision of collective survival, tracing the ways outcast people can make each other real through mutual belief. The synth-streaked rallying call is presented alongside a gorgeous and tender video directed by Noel Paul.

“The biggest influence on the lyrics of this song is a conversation I had with a friend of mine. When Covid was first hitting, she was talking to me a lot about how ready she felt. She was like, ‘people who have been comfortable in life are freaking out right now. But queer people like me have been in crisis before. I grew up poor and my family kicked me out when I was a teenager. My world has already ended plenty of times before, and we queers know what to do: we take care of each other, we help each other out, we have a network of support for the crises we know will hit us from time to time.’

And then she lost her job and ended up moving in with me and my family for like three months. And she was right, we were okay and we were taking care of each other.

That influenced a lot of what the whole record is about. But ‘Forever in Sunset’ is specifically a woman who’s been through some shit speaking to a new lover who is becoming attached to them, trying to warn the lover about how she is trouble, about how she has been through crises and they will come again. And that’s just how she lives, never settled, never safe, but also never defeated/finished – “forever in sunset.”

Sometimes it feels like crisis is hitting more and more of the general population. They think the world is ending. But people who have been through a personal apocalypse or two have something to teach them. The world doesn’t end, shit just happens and if we don’t die we have to take care of each other.” – Ezra Furman on “Forever In Sunset”

A singer, songwriter, and author whose incendiary music has soundtracked the Netflix show Sex Education, Furman has for years woven together stories of queer discontent and unlikely, fragile intimacies. All of Us Flames is the third instalment in a trilogy of albums, beginning with 2018’s Springsteen-inflected road saga Transangelic Exodus and continuing with the punk rock fury of 2019’s Twelve Nudes. Furman has a knack for zeroing in on the light that sparks when struggling people find each other and ease each other’s course. “I started to think of trans women as a secret society across the world: scattered everywhere, but so obviously bound together, both in being vulnerable and having a shared vision to change a fundamental building block of patriarchal society,” she says. “I‘ve been building my world of queer pals, and it feels like we’re forming a gang.”

Furman wrote much of Flames during the early months of the pandemic. “I had no time alone anymore; my house was super crowded,” she says. She drove to seek solitude, parked in arbitrary quiet spots around Massachusetts, and began to write. The songs that came flowed toward ideas of communality and networks of care, systems of survival cultivated by necessity among people who have been historically deprived of them. “This is a first person plural album,” Furman says. “It’s a queer album for the stage of life when you start to understand that you are not a lone wolf, but depend on finding your family, your people, how you work as part of a larger whole. I wanted to make songs for use by threatened communities, and particularly the ones I belong to: trans people and Jews.” With Furman’s widened focus, All of Us Flames paints transformative connections among people who unsettle the stories power tells to sustain itself. 


On All of Us Flames, the heat of a different world throbs just behind the skin of this one; all around us, openings to it flicker. They vanish almost as soon as they’ve appeared. But they keep appearing, as if daring us to hold them open, to widen them until they turn into a way.

Ezra Furman has announced more dates for her 2022 international tour adding four UK shows in November including performances at The Roundhouse in London and The Ritz in Manchester. Tickets HERE.

Ural Thomas & The Pain Share “Gimme Some Ice Cream”

With their new album Dancing Dimensions due out 3rd June via Bella Union, Ural Thomas And The Pain today share a summery and irresistible new single, “Gimme Some Ice Cream”, from this much-anticipated LP. The track comes accompanied with an entertaining part-animated video.

Of the track Ural says: “Who doesn’t want Ice Cream and lemonade every day in the summer? We love both so we wrote a song about it!”.

Additionally, Ural Thomas And The Pain have announced a bunch of new live dates either side of their London Jazz Cafe show in June.

Walking through the residential heart of Portland’s Mississippi district you’ll find a charming wooden house under the overcast Oregon sky. This local landmark is the home of soul legend Ural Thomas, built by hand with found materials decades ago. The basement is overflowing with musical equipment. When you walk down into the room you may see Portland’s Soul Brother Number One at the table chuckling, telling stories and jokes, and espousing his personal humanist philosophy obtained from 83years of unfathomable experiences. He’s often joined by either his generations of biological posterity or the adopted family that is his band, The Pain. You may also find this infinitely magnetic personality ripping through a cover song at full volume or working out a new original with his loved ones.

Though Ural Thomas is widely recognized as one of the most exciting singers remaining from the original soul era, and an active musical institution for over 60 years, his band, all decades younger, are treated as equals. The Pain are no backing band, but rather a well-oiled tightly-knit musical aggregation that’s spent the last eight years with Thomas developing a unique sound of its own.

Born in Meraux, Louisiana, in 1939, and moving with his family to Portland, Oregon during World War II, Ural Thomas grew up to become Rose City’s Soul Brother Number One. Already an established singer in his teens, he became the leader of the wild twistin’ rhythm and blues vocal group The Monterays –who achieved regional fame and recorded the canonical single “Push-Em Up” for the local Sure Star Records. His success brought him to Los Angeles where he caught the ear of industry bigwig Jerry Goldstein of The Strangeloves, best remembered for managing Sly and The Family Stone and producing dozens of iconic records by the likes of War, The McCoys, and The Angels. Goldstein saw star quality in the young singer and brought him into the studio with arranger Gene Page (known for thousands of recordings with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Elton John to a veritable who’s who of Motown stars) to record two landmark 1967 singles “Pain Is The Name of Your Game” and “Can You Dig It” for the MCA pop subsidiary UNI. Around this point Ural also recorded a 1968 live LP for MCA’s soul imprint Revue and the 1967 James Brown-informed proto-funk dancefloor dynamite that is “Deep Soul” for Seattle’s Camelot label. All are widely admired and continue to be heard at DJ sets and dance parties worldwide.

Ural Thomas next left Los Angeles to record in Cincinnati at King Records with James Brown’s production manager Bud Hobgood. After the two had a falling out, Portland’s soul man took a bus to New York City where he was featured more than forty nights at the Apollo. Eventually disillusioned with the industry and missing the communal aspect of making music, by the end of the 1960s he returned to Portland where he established a Sunday night jam session that continued for decades. In 2014 Portland DJ and drummer Scott McGee sat in. They became friends and within months Magee had assembled a full show band that they christened Ural Thomas and The Pain. The new group wasted no time performing and recording, touring the world and releasing two LPs between 2015 and 2018.

So few of soul music’s original practitioners of are still among us. Even fewer are still active. And of those, even fewer can still deliver the goods on the same level that made your hair stand on end the first time you dropped the needle on their record. Rumor had it that the complete package of undiminished passion, sweat, wailing, dancing, and banter, the elusive soul man we always seek out, could be found tearing it up in the Pacific Northwest. When Ural Thomas finally made it out east to play at Jonathan Toubin’s soul revue billed alongside Irma Thomas, Archie Bell, Joe Bataan, and other legends, it was his first New York City gig since his Apollo reign four decades prior. Having previously shared the stage with James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Etta James, and nearly any star from the hyper-competitive world of classic soul performance, Ural Thomas was not intimidated. He rose to the occasion, bringing down the house both nights and drenching an entire new generation of New Yorkers in his soul sweat!

And the band played on… Despite the usual COVID-19 obstacles, Ural Thomas and The Pain finally completed their much-anticipated third album, Dancing Dimensions.  While exploring everything from sweet Chicago soul to airy West Coast psychedelia to Sly funk, their latest collection retains the distinctive sound the band organically developed organically over years of relentless work. Classic yet unmistakably contemporary at the same time, “Dancing Dimensions” is the most accurate representation of The Pain’s unique flavor, power, and musical breadth committed to vinyl thus far.

Happy Release Day To Father John Misty

Father John Misty returns with Chloë and The Next 20th Century, his fifth album and first new material since the release of God’s Favorite Customer in 2018.

Chloë and the Next 20th Century was written and recorded August through December 2020 and features arrangements by Drew Erickson. The album sees Tillman and producer/multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Wilson resume their longtime collaboration, as well as Dave Cerminara, returning as engineer and mixer. Basic tracks were recorded at Wilson’s Five Star Studios with strings, brass, and woodwinds recorded at United Recordings in a session featuring Dan Higgins and Wayne Bergeron, among others.

Helen Ganya Announces Heart To Heart Mirage EP

Helen Ganya, who previously recorded under the name Dog In The Snow, has today announced news of a new 4-track EP, Heart to Heart Mirage, out 13th May via Bella Union. Of the EP Helen says: “Heart to Heart Mirage is a collection of four songs written to accompany and precede the next album, crafted around similar imagery and themes but standing alone as an independent collection. The title comes from a lyric in the song ‘Haze/revolution’ which lent itself well thematically.”

To coincide with the announcement Helen has shared a lyric video for the EP’s opening track, “Beautiful Country” of which she says: “Beautiful Country is a little tongue-in-cheek heartbreak on the illusion of meritocracy. It was a joy to write a sax line for this which was then re-interpreted with wondrous flair from fellow Brit-Thai musician Rittipo.”

Born to a Thai mother and Scottish father, Helen Ganya spent her formative years in Singapore before returning to the UK, settling in Brighton. As a teenager, learning guitar and discovering GarageBand simultaneously became a gateway into songwriting. She absorbed influences such as Sufjan Stevens, Scott Walker, David Lynch, Clint Mansell and Brian Eno: brooding, immersive and filmic universes that helped transcend her ongoing sense of fragmented identity, of being mixed race.

Since moving to Brighton, Helen has been a session player for bands such as Fear Of Men as well as Lost Horizons – the project of Bella Union’s label boss Simon Raymonde. After a short-run debut record, she signed to Bella Union and released her first album proper, Vanishing Lands, a haunting and luminous collection of songs covering themes of environmental destruction, lifted by euphoric melodies and absorbing lyrics.

In a rave review MOJO said this of the album: “Echoing the rich gothic drama of 80’s post-punk, the aerial swirl of 90s dream-pop and Kate Bush, Vanishing Lands unfolds in a dreamlike manner.” It was also specially selected by Tim Burgess for one of his Listening Parties during the height of lockdown.

Since the pandemic, Helen felt a sense of panic and urgency surrounding anti-Asian hate that re-surfaced and amplified in western societies due to Covid. This partly inspired the name change from Dog In The Snow to Helen Ganya to reflect the importance of visibility “particularly for those that move in predominantly white spaces”. She now also runs a regular radio show on Brighton’s Slack City radio called Mixed Tapes which showcases music from musicians of colour in the independent music world as well as interviews with POCs in different parts of the music industry. She has since returned to school and is currently finishing a Master of Science in Climate Change, a subject matter that has been a recurring theme in much of her music.

Heart to Heart Mirage tracklist:

1. Beautiful Country

2. Haze/Revolution

3. Patient Zero

4. Pleasure Dome