It was sometime in 2014, I believe, that I was introduced to July Talk. More than introduced really, I was coerced/thrown/demanded to listen to July Talk from a wonderful friend of mine who music obsesses like I do, and has exquisite taste. She told me I had to go see this band, who were giving a free show in Los Angeles. She insisted I go. I listened, I complied, and I will be forever grateful to her for shoving me into July Talk – who is now one of my forever favorite bands.
I’ve written, reviewed, and even interviewed one of the members of July Talk here at lyriquediscorde. My obsession for Leah and Peter, and the rest of the band, has grown over the years – and I’ve been yearning for more music from them. I’m excited to have woken up to find they’ve released a new EP, Repeat/After This/Certain Father/Hold, which I’ve been listening to – on repeat – with my coffee (on my second cup now) all New Year’s Eve morning.
“After This” (see video above), contains all the bits and pieces I love about July Talk. The juxtaposition of vocals, and give and take between Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay. The life beat pounding of the drums, the backbeat bass and lead guitar, and the build that feels like life and death all at once. The video captures the sonic journey perfectly. There is something post-apocalyptic in the setting, and in the way we switch between the explosive live shots to the stark and unnerving images of Peter and Leah in a seemingly empty city. Leah dressed like she’s out of another time, carrying around a Fisher Price children’s tape player, and Peter looking both like a demonic fairy and a sewer rat. I love it – love love love all of it.
My first listen favorite is the opening track, “Repeat”. Leah’s voice with stripped down accompanying sounds, sing-speaking lyrics that read like poetry. Words of self-destruction, of desperation, of something so much like these pandemic times that I can’t help but relating to every fucking word. Peter’s vocals come in, trying to reassure, trying to keep her going/us going, lying if he has to, anything to keep her breathing/us breathing. Fuck, this is good.
“I Am Water” (see video above), the final track on the EP, is the danciest of all the tracks. Its different from other July Talk tracks, yet they paint themselves into all the corners of the differences. There is something very 90’s rave to the sounds here. I hear a little Prodigy, a little The Crystal Method, a little Chemical Brothers. There’s a bit of goth/industrial from the late 80’s, too. Every time the EP hits this song I have to move, I have to shake, I have to dance dance dance.
I’m hoping there’s more to come from July Talk in the new year, that just maybe this EP will become a full album. I also hope beyond hope that I get to see them live again – I can’t recommend enough – INSIST ENOUGH – that if you have the opportunity to see July Talk live you go go go go go go go!
What a fantastic set of 5 songs to end the year with. Thank you, July Talk.