July Talk Preview


Canadian rock band July Talk will play on Nov. 16 www.emimusic.com.au

A gritty, edgy and innovative sound is coming to the Higher Ground stage this month. Canadian rock band July Talk will play on Nov. 16, alongside Little Hurricane and the John Daly Trio.

July Talk formed in 2012 after vocalist and guitarist Peter Dreimanis’s exodus from his former band.

“It was baptism by fire,” Dreimanis said. “There was this chaos, our lives were turned upside down.”

The band consists of Dreimanis, vocalist Leah Fay, guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist Josh Warburton and drummer Danny Miles. They released their first album in March.

“We were touring for two years, stopping every few months to grind out a batch of songs and we were seduced by these clean sounds once we moved into the studio,” Fay said.

“That’s kind of the Frankenstein baby of how we came to be,” she said.

The band’s sound is deceptively familiar, but rebellious and sharp all the while. Though influenced by blues and classic rock, they refuse to be categorized as either.

“One of our video producers always says as an artist, everything you do has to never have been done before,”  Dreimanis said. “We kind of live by that.”

“We don’t give a fuck about genre,” Dreimanis said. “It’s very easy to fall into a repetitive theme, so we’re subverting and making it more modern.”

Dreimanis doesn’t want the band to become a blues-revival cliche. “We’re not just a bunch of white kids who like Howlin’ Wolf,” he said.

Sticking to experience is key for July Talk. “We’re not going to sing about boots or trucks or babies running away, because that’s not our experience,” Dreimanis said.

“In terms of influences, you can’t reinvent the wheel,” Fay said. “As long as you’re doing something that’s honest for you–it’s about intention and striking some sort of balance.”

Accompanying their music, July Talk has a visually striking collection of black and white photos, music videos and documentary footage of their tour.

“Once we finish tracking, we then take a step and create a visual,” Dreimanis said, “There are blurred lines between the visual side and the songs–they’re multi-display projects.”

Dreimanis and Warburton are to credit for these gorgeous visuals. Before forming July Talk, the two dropped out of film school and made music videos for Toronto artists.

“They have cinematic minds and the band was able to use that,” Fay said.

The sonic and visual elements come together in July Talk’s live shows. “The shows are what we feed on and what allow us to breathe each day,”  Fay said.

“[During live shows] we’re able to look people in the eyes and push them out of their comfort zone,”  Fay said. “We’re highly sensitive to what’s going on and that’s been the inspiration for the new album.”

For Dreimanis, the live shows carry the same weight. “They’re a process of learning,” Dreimanis said. “The best part of our live shows have always been focused on the human element–they’re a chaotic mess, kind of like watching a car crash.”

No cars will be crashing onstage, but guitars will roar and vocals will rage. July Talk is bringing passionate performance and expert artistry to contemporary rock, and are a band to keep an eye out for.