Tallies: Patina (Bella Union)

Dream pop par excellence: Toronto band serve up superb second album

Released Jul 29th, 2022 via Bella Union / By Richard Lewis
Tallies: Patina (Bella Union) Announcing their arrival with their eponymous debut set in 2019, as their recent live shows and lead singles have suggested, the second LP from Toronto dream pop outfit Tallies looked set to be an impressive affair. Patina proves the anticipation was well placed as the outfit have sharpened their songwriting skills and broadened their sonic palate since their first album.

Highly refreshing in an age when some album tracklistings are bloated to push up streaming numbers, the set clocks in at a commendably lean nine songs. Drawing inspiration from indie icons The Smiths, The Sundays and the Cocteau Twins with possibly a smidgen of Lush’s shoegazing guitar textures, the quintet stamp their own identity on such storied influences. Centred around Sarah Cogan's siren like voice, the beautiful shimmer of Dylan Frankland’s guitar work and the pinpoint drum work of Cian O’Neill, Graham Walsh from art rockers Holy Fuck co-produces alongside Frankland.

Deft production touches are apparent from the off, as the guitar phrases in beautiful opening cut No Dream Of Fayres are backed with subtle inhalations of breath. Showcasing a bolder, more forthright approach throughout the disc, the superb, sulphurous Wound Up Tight sees the band bare their fangs, as a series of scuzzy guitar motifs swirl between Cogan’s distorted lead vocal. Memento further demonstrates widening of the group’s sound as its descending guitar melody is gently pulled out of shape by textural washes. The offbeat chord progression and sampled handclaps of Am I The Man along with the harmony laden Catapult, accompanied by subtle cello shading supplied by Arcade Fire associate Michael P. Olsen illustrates the group’s development.

Highlighting their knack for impressive singles, Hearts Underground is one of the group’s most immediate songs, a summation of Tallies' appeal in under four minutes. Elsewhere Heavens Touch plus excellent recent single Special underline the outfit’s capacity for minor key guitar pop as does When Your Life Is Not Over, which concludes with a repeated chorus of “You learn to love lonely”. Referring to an element associated with a precious object, Patina proves to be an apt title. 4/5