Tallies recently released their brilliant second album Patina through Bella Union, the band’s first new music since their self-titled album back in 2019.

Patina was produced by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Dylan Frankland of Tallies at Palace Sound, Baskitball 4 Life and Candle Recording in Toronto. The Canadian group’s new record is brimming with hooks, heart and fully realised widescreen pop songs, brushed with elements of gaze and indie pop, it deepens the connection between the emotive lyrics and the earworm tunes; it’s a wonderful delight.

Decorated by singer Sarah Cogan’s distinctive bittersweet tone and documenting the valleys and peaks of her own emotional landscape, imbued with light of the melodies with the dark of the subject matter. Tallies sound oscillates between the wistful jangle pop of The Sundays colliding with the abrasive textures of the likes of Curve or Throwing Muses. We caught up with Cogan and the band to find out a bit more:

Really love the new album, I read it was written in lockdown. How did you cope financially and emotionally in that period?

Thanks for digging it. Luckily we had started working on new music before the lockdown, but oh man was it hard to find the drive to create and write at the beginning of it all. Emotionally, the lockdown brought back depression memories from my teen years. So getting up just to write and play guitar felt too heavy of an accomplishment for some days. But the lockdown meant time, and time only. So, we got to take advantage of this time we all had and finish up Patina. We all weren’t able to work, so financially it was rough. As I imagine it was for almost everyone. 

There is a deepening of the emotional connections of the songs on this record, did writing it provide you a catharsis and something to hang onto during the isolation writing this record?

Writing this record was a cathartic experience for sure. I tend to write lyrics that come about from hearing the sounds of our instrumentation. It feels like I’m following the flow of the music river and what ever sounds echo off the improvised melody are what stick. 

The best guitar songs have that contrast between light and dark is that what you were aiming for and what were some of your touchpoints?

I think we have some contrast with light and dark when it comes to our guitar sound vs. the writing. The sound is happy and bright, dreamy and angelic. While the lyric content is not and more on the mellow side. 

No Dreams of Fayres‘ is brilliant, it has a really wistful quality. I read it’s about the depressive episode when you feel like that it is sometimes hard to see a way out? In contrast, Memento is your pick-me-up song?

No Dreams of Fayres‘ is about a depressive time from my past and when I had trouble with feeling stuck and not looking forward. ‘Memento‘ is a pick me up song that’s all about that go-getter motion and a reminder to let go, move on and live. 

This album sounds much more refined, textured and widescreen than your debut which I loved too, did it help to have that space and a producer like Graham Walsh?

I really think so. Graham Walsh is such a talented creative and seeing him in his element is the most inspiring. If you get a chance to watch him play with knobs in real life, it’s dazzling. We had him kiss our record with his improvised touch on ‘Wound Up Tight‘.

Musically it has a real breadth from almost Postcard Records influenced songs like ‘Hearts Underground‘, to ‘Wound up Tight‘ which reminds me of the likes of Curve, were you trying to show off the different faces of Tallies?

With time and age our music tastes change, naturally. I think we have just been expanding and exploring our music interests, which influences us along the way. We channeled some, Stereolab and The Cure for those two tracks. 

Special‘ has a really bittersweet dreamy yet yearning quality, what it is about?

It’s about longing to be seen and heard by those who matter to you the most. It’s also about feeling invisible. 

Do you think the lines between guitar music and pop are increasingly blurred?

I think it’s getting harder to categorise music in general. Sub-genres don’t even quite define music accurately anymore. So I think all lines are blurred at the end of the day. 

How did you meet Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins, Bella Union)?

We met Simon for the first time at the Bella Union record/coffee shop, in Brighton, and shared lovely conversation over delicious coffee. 

What new artists are inspiring you?

Some new inspiring artists we are into right now are GLOIN, Sahara, Breeze, Dehd, Kiwi Jr and Matt Macneill

Are you hoping to tour this record in the UK?

We’ll be rolling through mid October/ mid November! See ya then!

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.