Happy Release Day Tallies

Today, Tallies release their sophomore album and first for Bella Union, Patina. The album was proceeded by singles “Memento”, “Hearts Underground”, “Wound Up Tight” and “Heaven’s Touch”.

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.

Father John Misty Premieres “Buddy’s Rendezvous” Video

Father John Misty was part of history in April when his hugely acclaimed new album Chloë and The Next 20th Century entered the UK album chart at Number 2, with Wet Leg at number 1 and Jack White at number 3, the first time in more than a decade that independent artists have taken the top three positions! Today, Father John Misty is sharing the official video for “Buddy’s Rendezvous”, directed by filmmaker and photographer Emma Elizabeth Tillman (The History of Caves; The Wheel), and is a highlight from the album.

Emma says of the video: “‘Buddy’s Rendezvous’ is a world unto itself. It is a place out of time. My dream for the video is that it would surrender itself to the power of the song. An unnamed man (played by Craig Stark), fresh out of jail and down on his luck makes his way across the fractured landscape of Los Angeles to meet his daughter (played by Arrow DeWilde). All the while he is beset by memories of a more innocent time. Despite her hesitance, his daughter and her boyfriend (played by Gilbert Trejo) agree to meet her father and find moments of sadness and sparks of tenderness in the connection made. Although the video and the song can be considered love letters to Los Angeles, the themes are universal. Disappointments, regrets, forgiveness, tenderness, perseverance, and love. The incredible performances by Arrow, Craig, Gilbert, and David Haley all coalesce to bring this vision to life. Cinematography by James Wall on 16mm evokes the down and out feeling of LA, merging past and present. This video could not have been accomplished without the talent of producer Bria Little and creative director and editor Jonathan King.”

Also out today is Lana Del Rey’s gorgeous cover of “Buddy’s Rendezvous,” available now on all DSPs. Her interpretation of the song was previously only available as a 7” single included with the limited edition box set of Chloë and The Next 20th Century. 

Chloë and The Next 20th Century and its singles are earning “Best Albums” and “Songs of 2022 (So Far)” placement from the likes of The Guardian, StereogumConsequenceUproxx and more. 

Father John Misty’s previously announced international headlining tour schedule in support of Chloë and The Next 20th Century begins June 26th and runs through to March 17th, 2023.

Laura Veirs Debuts “Eucalyptus”

With her 16-date UK tour starting tomorrow – including a Glastonbury performance later in the month – and her new album Found Light due out 8th July via Bella Union, Laura Veirs today shares a third track “Eucalyptus” from this anticipated release.

Commenting on the track Veirs says: “This is a song about the community love I felt when I went through my divorce. It’s also about new love and about rediscovering myself as a solo person post-divorce. I reminisce here about “finding the old girl I was” back when I visited my brother in California when he was in college where they have lovely eucalyptus trees. Some eucalyptus trees will drop their branches suddenly on you, though, so those are the varieties you don’t want to plant in your backyard. This was the trickiest song to record on the new album. It started out with a Bossa nova rhythm but I found that cheesy. My co-producer Shahzad Ismaily and I tried many different drum and bass ideas on this track before we landed here. I recorded the rain sounds spontaneously with my phone while sitting outside Shahzad’s studio in Brooklyn when we recorded the record last September. I love the unexpected places this song goes.”

Laura Veirs June UK tour:

Thursday 9th June – Norwich – Norwich Arts Centre

Friday 10th June – Nottingham – The Bodega Social Club

Saturday 11th June – Cambridge – Storey’s Field Centre

Sunday 12th June – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds

Tuesday 14th June – Gosforth – Civic Theatre

Wednesday 15th June – Edinburgh – Summerhall Arts Venue

Thursday 16th June – Glasgow – Stereo

Saturday 18th June – Leeds – Belgrave Music Hall

Sunday 19th June – Manchester – The Deaf Institute

Tuesday 21st June – Pentrych – Acapela Studios

Wednesday 22nd June – Bristol – Thekla

Thursday 23rd June – Exeter – Phoenix

Saturday 25th June – Glastonbury – Glastonbury Festival

Monday 27th June – Portsmouth – Wedgewood Rooms

Tuesday 28th June – Guildford – The Boileroom

Wednesday 29th June – Brighton – Komedia

A.A. Williams Announces “As The Moon Rests”

A.A. Williams today announces news of her much-anticipated second album, As The Moon Rests, released 7th October via Bella Union and available to preorder here. To celebrate the announcement Williams has shared an intense and beautifully shot b/w video for lead single “Evaporate” directed by Fraser West.

“Traditionally, your second album is the worry; where there’s the weight of expectation,” A.A. Williams contends. “But I must create music I like myself, and I’ve had more time on this record; I’ve felt more confidence and conviction. As The Moon Rests is both heavier and softer, there’s more texture and weight, and a string ensemble. It’s Forever Blue times ten!”

Released in July 2020, Forever Blue was the London-based singer-songwriter’s album debut, a brilliantly dramatic, unique and intimate walk on the dark side that fused bold and smouldering hues of post-rock and post-classical. By turns, it was glacial and volcanic, blissful and violent, through moments of disarming quiet and explosive volume, equally appealing to alt-rock and metal camps. 

“The shifts between moments of high drama and quiet tension point to her kinship with Chelsea Wolfe and PJ Harvey,” stated Uncut. “Stirring and evocative… The chances of a more heartrending and fully formed debut emerging this year are practically zero,” reckoned Metal Hammer. 

As Williams contends, As The Moon Rests amplifies the scale of her ambitions, crystalised by ‘Evaporate’, the first track released from the sessions. It comes with a video that embodies the thrilling tensions of Williams’ world, where emotions walk a fine line between control and chaos. Likewise, the impact of William’s deep-trawling voice and lyrics that ask all the right existential questions throughout As The Moon Rests: who am I? What can I change? What can’t I change?

Forever Blue had already set in motion Williams’ quest for self-improvement, but the pandemic presented more challenges. As Forever Blue was about to be released, she started posting solo videos – cover versions suggested by her fans, such as Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, Nick Cave’s ‘Into Your Arms’ and Deftones’ ‘Be Quiet and Drive’, alchemised to fit her own crepuscular sound and vision. Songs From Isolation, as she called it, “was a positive experience to focus on through the overwhelming reports of bad news. And I could have a dialogue with my listeners.” 

Songs From Isolation subsequently turned into a nine-track album of covers, a definite and heartaching document of solitude and fortitude. Next came arco, a re-imagining of Williams’ debut (self-titled) EP for just voice and strings. She’d played the string parts (as well as guitar and piano) on Forever Blue, but here she wrote the arrangements for a ten-piece ensemble, transposing the rhythm and low end of a rock band into sumptuous and elegant orchestrations.

The string ensemble returns for As The Moon Rests, bolstering the album’s cinematic dimensions and underlining the palpable drama of Williams’ quest to forge a more liberating path. The album’s opening track ‘Hollow Heart’ sets out the emotional terrain: “Give me time and I will learn / that I am only human,” she sings before the instruments begin their slow climb to boiling point. Williams’ voluminous guitar and keyboards are embellished by co-producer (and husband) Thomas Williams’ bass guitar, Geoff Holroyde’s drums and engineer / mixer Adrian Hall at his London studio Clever Pup (as opposed to the Williams’ two-bedroom flat for Forever Blue). “We had better equipment, and more experience at hand,” says Williams. When they were finished, As The Moon Rests clocked in at a mighty 62 minutes. “I was expecting to take a few recordings away after we’d finished, but the consensus was that everything was good, and worked as a collection.” 

The album takes its title from the closing track. “For me, ‘As The Moon Rests’ jumped out as evoking a change in direction in the lyrics,” she explains. “It’s a love song, not necessarily romantic, but between two people with an unwavering bond. It seemed poignant and prominent enough to work as the title.”  

That unwavering bond could equally exist between two conflicting parts of the self. “Most of Forever Blue’s text was quite insular,” she recalls. “I was trying to understand myself, trying to cure, or eradicate, parts of myself. But I realised that if you remove things; you might remove parts of your personality too. You just need to learn how to manage things, to be kinder to yourself. It’s all a journey, a progression.”

Williams would rather not specify any incidents, triggers or memories behind each individual song. “It’s all part of an overriding arc,” she says. “With hindsight, some songs I figure things out, others I disappear into a hole. For example, in ‘Evaporate’, I’m trying to keep a lid on fizzy complicated thoughts, which just explode. Other times, I’m more relaxed. Mostly, writing is more retrospective, not about the here and now. The lyrics are the place where I figure things out.”

Now Williams and her live band – Thomas Williams, Wayne Proctor and multi-instrumentalist Matthew de Burgh Daly – get to figure out a proper headline tour in support of an album, since lockdown meant that their first headline show on London’s South Bank in early 2020 became her last for well over a year, until a short headline tour in Autumn 2021 that at least gave them the chance to commune with fans and feel the white heat and spark of performance. In August of this year, they’re supporting Japanese post-rockers MONO, Williams’ collaborators for the 10” vinyl single ‘Exit in Darkness’; in September, to launch As the Moon Rests, comes their biggest headline show yet at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Following that, Williams will undertake her first comprehensive headline tour: a 6-week trek across the UK and Europe, taking in 34 shows over 12 countries. Williams’ journey may have been held up by events, but in all other aspects, everything that culminates in As The Moon Rests is incontrovertible proof that it continues to build and thrive.

Midlake Share “Exile” Video

About to set off a US tour running throughout June, Midlake today share a video for new single “Exile”, one of the many highlights from their acclaimed new album, For The Sake Of Bethel Woods, released in March via Bella Union and ATO Records. Featuring content filmed across the band’s recent UK/EU April tour, the video can be viewed below…

Midlake UK / European live dates…

Sunday 4th September – Birmingham – Moseley Folk Festival

Tuesday 6th September – Istanbul – 100% Studio

Thursday 27th October – Norwich – The Waterfront

Friday 28th October – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club

Sunday 30th October – Bristol – Trinity Centre

Monday 31st October – Cambridge – Junction

Wednesday 2nd November – Utrecht – Ronda

Thursday 3rd November – Bruges – Cactus Club

Friday 4th November – Groningen – De Oosterpoort

Sunday 6th November – Copenhagen – Pumpehuset

Monday 7th November – Stockholm – Nalen

Tuesday 8th November – Oslo – Vulkan Arena

Wednesday 9th November – Gothenburg – Pustervik

Penelope Isles Head Out On Summer Tour

Penelope Isles are once again heading out on the road to celebrate the early 2022 release of their album Which Way To Happy. The tour will include stops at a number of summer festivals including Primavera, Glastonbury, Ypsigrock and Green Man Festival. To mark the tours kick off this week, the band have shared an alternative version of their track “Play It Cool” as well as the below statement…

“We have been working on how to re-imagine songs from Which Way To Happy for our festival shows this summer…. Play It Cool seemed to fall into place a lot easier than others… maybe because we stripped a lot of things away that are in the album version, so we felt that it would be ‘cool’ to re-mix and create an alternative version, where the arrangement and sonics are more like how we are doing it live. Everything is pretty hard panned in the stereo mix, so the drums are on one side and the bass on the other. It’s kind of fun to pan to one side and isolate things. Inspired by those early Byrds and Beatles mixes.

The video is a little nod to when you feel like you’re in a film, riding your bike or walking with music in your ears. Your main character moment.

As we head to Italy today for some gigs on our way to Primavera next week, we are thrilled to show you this new mix of Play It Cool and a lovely wee video to accompany! We are also playing all these shows below before the end of the year and cannot wait to say hi to you all somewhere along the way. Love Penny Isles xx”

Full upcoming live dates below…

2nd June – Salerno, IT – Disorder Festival

7th June – Barcelona, SP – Primavera Sound Festival

11th June – Bellocq, FR – Very Good Trip Festival

17th June – Edinburgh, UK – Hidden Door Festival

22nd June – Pilton, UK – Glastonbury Festival

15th July – Leeuwarden, NL – Welcome To The Village

24th July – Isle Of Man, UK – Dark Horse Festival

29th July – Bruton, UK – Farmfest

5th August – Sicily, IT – Ypsigrock Festival

18th August – Brecon, UK – Green Man Festival

1st September – Nottingham, UK – Bodega

2nd September – Birkenhead, UK – Future Yard

3rd September – Manchester, UK – Manchester Psych Fest

6th September – Tunbridge Wells, UK – Forum

7th September – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach

8th September – Portsmouth, UK – The Kings

9th September – London, UK – Oslo Hackney

10th September – Reading, UK – Down At The Abbey

14th September – Bath, UK – Moles

15th September – Falmouth, UK – The Cornish Bank

16th September – Exeter, UK – Cavern