July Talk - Touch
Released September 9, 2016
By Jasmine Proctor
Honestly, it’s rare to find a band that captivates you in the way July Talk did for me with their recently released sophomore album, Touch. Raw, fresh, abrasive, and blunt, Touch wore its emotions on its sleeve; blending elements of punk, classic rock, and indie to create a truly immersive experience for the listener.
I was instantly taken by the first chords of Picturing Love, the first track on the album. It set the tone for what was to come, with a steady beat of drums, electric piano, and rough vocals. What really gets you is the chorus, where the punch of electric guitar and repetition of lyrics “I’m tired of picturing love” transports you entirely. The lyrics and instrumentals speak to the idea of the misconceptions of love and relationships, misconstrued by society’s image of what “love” is supposed to look like. Harsh, real, but completely beautiful, this track captures you and provokes you to think.
Likewise, the second track, Beck + Call, picks up speed and tells the story of feeling used and unwanted. I absolutely love this track; by far my favourite from the album. It’s just so in-your-face and new, and I love how they infused the lyrics with so much meaning. The strong presence of guitar and the organic vocals speak to you in such a way that I’ve honestly never experienced before. The whispering of “he loves me, she loves me not” coupled with the intense guitar and drums is just ridiculously powerful. You feel their emotion and it sticks with you long after the track has run its course.
The group switches gears with tracks such as Now I Know, a song about the turmoil of love and life. With abrasive electric guitar riffs reflecting the feeling within the lyrics, claiming “now I know how it feels to fall in love, and I know it feels like falling apart”, it leaves you feeling empty, emotional, and transformed. I felt like I was listening to a diary entry, a snapshot of a love that was cut apart.
Strange Habit mirrors this sense of emptiness as well, with the slower pace and tone creating a feeling of falling away from your surroundings, mimicking the lyrics as they talk in circles claiming “here we go again we’re falling back into these strange old habits”. Sadness is embedded and manifested through the lyrics in this one, possessing an almost lullaby-like quality. The melancholy nature of the lyrics is reflected back into the tone of the music, making it a perfect track to listen to at night, with the dark sky as your backdrop, and the song echoing throughout your room.
In all, I fell in love with this album right from the start. July Talk honestly put so much feeling into it, just as they’ve done in the past, and created an intricate mosaic of emotions, stories, and snapshots of life that we can all relate to. Those features, coupled with the mixture of genres blended into their indie rock framework made this by far one of the best Canadian albums of 2016 for me.