Tallies - Patina (Bella Union)

Tallies – Patina (Bella Union)

On the YouTube page for Patina‘s opening track, ‘No Dreams Of Fayres‘, there’s a guy called Erik Lewis who appears as the top viewable comment. He describes Tallies as “The Sundays meets The Innocence Mission and a lot of beautiful guitar jangle“, also going on to note the striking debt paid to Johnny Marr and “the first Trash Can Sinatras album.”

I quit. Erik Lewis has just described this album within one roughly 35 word paragraph perfectly. There is literally nothing else you need to say to describe it.

Tallies, though indebted to all of those British indie bands of the eighties, are, somewhat surprisingly, Canadian. Sarah Cogan‘s vocals are undoubtedly enormously close to those of Harriet Wheeler‘s, and the band even take the time to acknowledge this fact themselves by giving away a postcard that resembles a smaller version of The Sundays’ 1989 classic ‘Can’t Be Sure‘ artwork.

I find subtle touches like this highly appealing, but regardless of whomever it sounds like, one thing’s for sure – Patina is simply a bloody great album! The perfect summer soundtrack, it conjures images of sandy beaches and people laughing and drinking under bright blue sunny skies. Nourishment for the soul.

The only thing our aforementioned YouTube commenter left out in his appraisal of Patina, in fact, is how it would absolutely have slotted effortlessly into a list of classic 4AD albums if they’d got there first. Especially when you get to the slightly noisier ‘Wound Up Tight’ which has the Throwing Muses watermark all over it.

Patina might not be breaking any barriers down and Tallies may not exactly be pioneers of a new sound, but who cares when the music is this infectious?

Special‘ even incorporates a vocal style that isn’t too far removed from Björk‘s on those old Sugarcubes records, specifically the way Cogan emphasises the last two words in the line “It’s easy to be special, are you?

Quite frankly, I’m nineteen years old again listening to the songs on this, the Toronto band’s second long player. It’s a nostalgic trip for me, yet it still feels very fresh. Lovely stuff, and it gets better with every play. There’s every chance that this will end up as one of my favourite records of 2022.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.