Words by: Adam R. Harrison
Photography by: Adam R. Harrison
The temperature may be dropping, the leaves changing colour and Halloween fast approaching, but the word around the Danforth this weekend is all July Talk. The local quintet returned from the road for two sold out nights at the music hall in promotion of their new album, Touch, and they made sure to let us know how good it felt to be back on home soil.
July Talk opened their 80-minute set with “Summer Dress” and the crowd instantly fell for their contagious energy. It’s the chemistry between singers Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay that make a July Talk show a must see in The 6ix. They complement and contrast each other in such a way that perfectly differentiates both the sound of their music and performance from your typical rock band dynamic.
Dreimanis steals your attention instantly with the deepest and raspiest of voices you’d never expect from a man that is probably no more than 5’7”. On top of that, his movements are both erratic and unconventional. Meanwhile you can’t help but fall in love with Fay who sounds completely the opposite with penetrating treble vocals and dance moves that are both seductive and badass rock n’ roll. But when they interact with each other is when the real magic happens. The way they touch, sing and look at each other is envious. The way they joke and charm one another tells the story of a relationship that is one of a kind for a rock band.
“You look fantastic.” Dreimanis acknowledged those in the crowd in Halloween costumes. “The rest of you are beautiful in a more conventional way.” Fay added, “Shout out to rainbow unicorn. You’re my hero!”
July Talk powered through an impressive amount of songs from their two albums, but they saved the home runs for the 9th inning (something the Blue Jays could have learned from! Too soon?). During “Guns + Ammunition,” Dreimanis took his guitar to the floor and proceeded to play while surfing the crowd that was singing along to the “Ooo ooo ooo’s.”
Perhaps the biggest pop came for July Talk’s first single off Touch, “Push + Pull,” which sounded eerily bang on to what we’ve been hearing on the radio for the last several months. Dreimanis & Fay were still snowballing energy to and from the fans going into “Paper Girl” to end the main set. The capacity crowd of 1,500 echoed throughout The Danforth Music Hall as they sang along to the chorus “And if you want money in your coffee, if you want secrets in your tea, keep your paper heart away from me.”
During the encore, Dreimanis reminisced about playing “The Garden” at Queen & Bathurst for the very first time before calling it a night with the very same tune. July Talk has come a long way from the shady west end bar scene, but there is no doubt that if they continue to make catchy music backed with explosive concerts, their success and popularity will only continue to grow.