Tallies On Their Sophomore Album “Patina” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, October 2nd, 2022  

Tallies On Their Sophomore Album “Patina”

UK tour dates announced for October

Aug 11, 2022 Web Exclusive
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Toronto dreampop outfit TALLIES released their eagerly anticipated second album Patina last month (29th July). The long-awaited follow-up to 2019’s self-titled debut, which scored an impressive 8.5/10 on these very

pages. Their first since signing to esteemed independent label Bella Union last year, Patina is the culmination of three years hard work having commenced recording on the album as far back as the summer of 2019. Produced by Graham Walsh from Canadian experimental duo Holy Fuck, Patina will almost certainly follow its predecessor into the upper echelons of many an end of year “best of” list come December.

To commemorate the album’s release, Tallies will be embarking on a UK tour later this year, calling in at the following:-

October

24 Southampton Heartbreakers

26 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach

27 Manchester Gullivers

28 Nottingham Rough Trade (Tickets)

29 Liverpool Kazimier Stock Room

November

1 Sunderland Pop Recs

4 London Sebright Arms

6 Bristol Louisiana

More UK and EU shows will be added in due course.

In the meantime, Under the Radar caught up with the band – Sarah Cogan (vocals), Dylan Frankland (guitars) and Cian O’Neill (drums) – in between shows at this year’s Focus Wales event in Wrexham.

Dom Gourlay (Under the Radar) Did the Covid-19 pandemic affect the timing of your second album?

Dylan Frankland: We were very locked down in Canada so it kind of put a shutdown on shows. We still did a few live streams and videos, playing from a window in a bar.

How was live streaming for you?

Sarah Cogan: It wasn’t the same. I just shut myself down. Luckily, we had most of this record done before the pandemic so we were able to work on it which gave us something to look forward to. But if we hadn’t had that, I’m not sure where we’d be. I couldn’t write or pick up a guitar.

Dylan Frankland: We wrote one song about the lockdown then kept rewriting that same song. I mean, who wants to hear that?

Most artists I’ve spoken to about the pandemic say it was largely unproductive.

Sarah Cogan: Because there was no end time. We didn’t know when it was going to be over. So, we shut down for all this time, then there came a point where we thought when does this time stop? You start feeling like well I can do this tomorrow, then tomorrow, then the next day and so on.

Dylan Frankland: The first month felt OK.

Sarah Cogan: But then after that we didn’t know what was coming.

Dylan Frankland: We have a lot of fragments we were working on, but it will be interesting to see if we can put those fragments together and make something out of them. I work in a recording studio so we went there for a week and just hung out, recorded quite freely and just did whatever we wanted. That’s when we came up with those fragments. Some of them will definitely be songs. Some of them are totally out there so I don’t know if you’ll hear those ever!

When did you start working on the songs that became Patina?

Dylan Frankland: We started working on it in August 2019. But same as with the last album, we didn’t record all of those songs together. We didn’t do the drums for every song. We’d do the drums for three songs, then the bass, finish those songs then go back in again and build up a couple more. The new record we did in two halves, whereas the first album we made in three pieces. We sent Simon (Raymonde) some of the first part of this new record we were working on. So, in March 2020 we had some of those songs mixed. He was going to come and see us play live in New York and Austin which didn’t happen but he ended up signing us anyway.

How did Bella Union first become involved with Tallies?

Sarah Cogan: It came from Dylan being very good at networking.

Dylan Frankland: We woke up in Brighton when we did our last UK tour in September 2019 and me and Sarah went down to the Bella Union shop, thinking Simon might be there.

Sarah Cogan: I remember Dylan poked his head around the window and went, “Shit!” So, I said he’s not there? And Dylan said, “No, he is there!”

Dylan Frankland: I got quite starstruck and couldn’t really say anything, but he did all the talking and was so nice. He gave me a big hug then we just kept in touch throughout the pandemic. We were playing the Reeperbahn and went and checked out Penelope Isles then became friends with them. So, it’s kind of grown from there, as a friendship as much as anything else.

Did the tracklisting for Patina change over time as more songs were added to the mix?

Dylan Frankland: It probably changed a little bit but not significantly. We didn’t feel the need to have to re-record anything because we spent a lot of time in the studio. When we write a song, we like to leave a lot open ended, because sometimes there’s some magic in the demo that takes time to figure out. So, you go after that and achieve it. Whereas if you do that in a demo setting it tends to be a great performance but lacking in quality, so we leave those things to make it really creative in the studio.

The band has expanded to a five-piece for live shows. How did that come about and will it transcend to writing and recording in the future?

Sarah Cogan: Some of the songs, I couldn’t really play them that well so we thought maybe it would be a good idea to have another guitar player.

Dylan Frankland: Especially on the newer songs, because there are more guitar parts in layers whereas with the first record there were more chords. Then I’d just record myself playing that one part with more tones. With the new record I came up with different parts but for the live shows that needs an extra guitarist.

Sarah Cogan: We didn’t record Patina as a five-piece so I’m not sure whether it will become part of the recording process. But for the live shows it will definitely stay, because I find I can focus more on the vocals when I just stand there, and I get to dance more as well which is really fun.

It’s interesting you say that as there’s definitely a lot more emphasis on the guitars, with some of the songs sounding much heavier than their counterparts on your debut album.

Dylan Frankland: I think there are both heavier and lighter aspects with this record than the first one. It’s more dynamic for sure. I think the verses are a lot heavier whereas on the first record we focused more on the choruses which made the verses seem quite small. Maybe it is heavier? I never thought of it that way.

With an increasingly large body of work, how do you go about putting together a setlist?

Sarah Cogan: It really depends on how much time we have. That’s how we start off and then it depends on what we feel would be good for that particular setting. We try and play a different set every time.

Dylan Frankland: We’re working in more new songs every time we play. At first it was pretty easy to put together a setlist but it’s getting much harder now. We have a lot more options now.

You’re back over in the UK later this year. Do you find UK audiences more responsive than back home or anywhere else you’ve played so far?

Dylan Frankland: Oh, for sure! The UK is our favourite place to play, hands down. Here its just consistently good, whereas in Canada and America it can be pretty up and down. Everything’s so far apart that you end up spending most of the time driving. In the UK, all of the cities have their own identity and character.

Sarah Cogan: I find the love for music is so much bigger here. You can feel it everywhere. People actually want to come out and see you play.

Dylan Frankland: Also, when you listen to popular radio stations over here, they play music that’s a lot more similar to what we play than they do back home. We were listening to BBC 6Music and Miley Cyrus came on, then we came on after which was great!

Does where you’re playing impact how you approach a show or focus how you perform?

Sarah Cogan: I prefer to do the opposite. Maybe a little bit just to accommodate but also, I like us to just be ourselves then people can take us as we are.

Dylan Frankland: Maybe if it’s a cafeteria some of the calmer songs like “Midnight” might work better. Whereas if it’s a club we’ll probably play more of the energetic songs.

At the two Focus Wales shows in May I noticed people in the audience singing the words back at you to some of the songs. How does that make you feel?

Sarah Cogan: I met someone in the pub after and told him our band name and he went “this song?”, then proceeded to sing it back at us. It was very, very shocking!

Dylan Frankland: But also, really cool at the same time.

Sarah Cogan: It was so nice. Like really, that just happened?

How many shows have you played since the pandemic rules were lifted?

Sarah Cogan: I’m not sure how many shows we’ve done but the sets we’ve played in the UK definitely contain the most new songs to date.

Dylan Frankland: Usually we’ll play one unreleased song in the set, but at the same time we’ll also play songs off the first album because technically we’re still working that record. I hate going to see a band play all this unreleased music when I’m expecting to hear songs I know, so I wouldn’t want to inflict that on people coming to see us either.

What advice would you give to a new band just starting out?

Dylan Frankland: Figure out some kind of ritual or habits that you develop to prepare for a performance. There are certain things that I’ve learned to do now when preparing for a show. It’s taken me a while to figure them out.

Cian O’Neill: Even if its just getting yourself into the headspace.

Dylan Frankland: Touring can be difficult on the body and psychologically, so its good if you have certain habits that keep you healthy and feeling good, then the tour just ends up being more fun as a result. For example, you have more fun if you drink less!

Sarah Cogan: Have we learned that one yet though?!

Dylan Frankland: I think we sort of have. We’re getting there.

Cian O’Neill: We’ve been really lucky working with a lot of good people. I know a lot of bands have had fallouts through their experiences whereas we’ve been lucky in that respect. I feel like our team is more of a family.

Are there any other new bands you’d recommend Under the Radar and its readers should check out?

Dylan Frankland: There’s a band that we’ve just toured with called Tops who are great. I’ve been listening to them non-stop and they’re amazing.

Sarah Cogan: I have one. They’re called Zoon. Michael Olsen who plays with Zoon has featured on our new record. He plays a cello, but not in the traditional sense. It’s like a different kind of cello. It’s an electric cello and it looks crazy. Also, our friends are in a band called Gloin. They’re incredible.

Dylan Frankland: They’re going to be putting out an album at some point. There’s also Sahara. Andrew Wilson from that band is playing guitar on tour for us. Our drummer Cian (O’Neill) also has a band called Club Silencio. They’ve just put out a record that was recorded during the first summer of the pandemic.

It seems like there’s quite a scene in and around Toronto for bands making similar music to yourselves. Do you find that different cities around Canada have different vibes or scenes? For example, Quebec seems very electronic and dance orientated.

Dylan Frankland: People often say that Montreal doesn’t like guitar music, and that Toronto does like guitar music. Although there are a lot of great guitar-based bands coming out of Montreal. It seems like there is a lot of psychedelic rock from Toronto, and a few festivals geared around that as well. I’m not sure if they have that many in Montreal? Montreal does have more electronic music festivals so I guess the audiences there are more conducive to electronic music.

Patina is out now on Bella Union in the UK/EU and Kanine Records/Hand Drawn Dracula in the US/Canada.

Official Website

Bandcamp



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