Song Of The Day: Tallies – No Dreams of Fayres

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Toronto’s Tallies are back with their first release since their self-titled 2019 debut and it continues on in the band’s tradition of beautiful dreampop tracks reminiscent of The Sundays and Cocteau Twins.

The video for the band’s new single “No Dreams of Fayres” finds vocalist Sarah Cogan on a leisurely winter walk that includes stops at Deja Vu Discs (a message flashes on screen to remind us all that Sloan’s One Chord to Another “is a really good record” – fact) and a bowling alley.

According to Cogan, the song is about dealing with depression: “‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is a reflection of thoughts that I remember going through my mind when I stayed still in bed. Feeling as though staying still in bed was the only thing that would help the sadness – basically, disconnecting myself from family, friends, and having a life. Finding the way out of depression was hard but possible. ‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is also about the realization of letting yourself feel real feelings but not mistaking them for emotions. I had to learn to get a grip of what I wanted out of life and go for it with no self-sabotage – which was music, as cliché as it sounds. It pulled me out of bed, physically and mentally.”

That sounds like a sentiment that many can relate to.

“No Dreams of Fayres” is out now via Kanine Records / Hand Drawn Dracula / Bella Union.

Concert Review: Pom Pom Squad, Nada Surf, November 7, Horseshoe Tavern

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Before I get too deep into this review, I’d like to first take a moment to point out how nice it felt to be back at the Horseshoe Tavern to take in a show again for the first time in nearly two years. Nice, but still a bit weird – it’ll likely take a bit of time before being in a packed room watching bands feels totally normal. Still, it did feel good to be back, in no small part due to the performances of the two bands playing the ‘Shoe on this occasion – Nada Surf and Pom Pom Squad.

Pom Pom Squad played an impressive set made up mostly of tracks off of this year’s Death Of A Cheerleader with a few choice cuts from debut EP Ow thrown in as well. Though the band only played for about half and hour, they packed a lot of energy into that roughly 30 minute set. Like their latest album, their live set went by relatively quickly but there was a lot going on as they ran the gamut stylistically from grungy indie rock to ’60s girl group-inspired sounds. They definitely seemed pretty stoked to finally be out on the road and playing tracks like “Head Cheerleader”, “Drunk Voicemail” and “Be Good” before an appreciative crowd. It was a very assured and impressive performance that left me wanting just a bit more. Luckily they’ll be back in town in a few months as part of a stacked bill that also features Illuminati Hotties and Fenne Lily.

Following Pom Pom Squad, Nada Surf took to the stage and played a fairly lengthy set of songs from throughout their career, including one track i wasn’t necessarily expecting. I’ll admit I was a little surprised to see the band playing “Popular” during the encore. While it’s still probably their most, well, popular song, I’d never seen them perform it live before and was under the impression that they just didn’t really play it anymore. Kind of like Radiohead and “Creep.” Turns out I was wrong – perhaps its inclusion to the set was inspired by opener Pom Pom Squad’s cheerleader-ish aesthetic? Aside from “Popular”, other highlights of their set included “Always Love”, the mass singalong of “fuck it!” during “Blankest Year”, and “Something I Should Do”, the closing lyrics of which (“Empathy is good, lack of empathy is bad/Holy math says we’re never not together”) definitely resonate as an appropriate message for our times.

Album Review: Teenage Fanclub-Endless Arcade (2021, Merge Records)

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For the first time in 19 months, it is again time to introduce you, kind readers, to my total bald-faced ignorance of a band that should have been right up my alley (please do not substitute other nouns). Although truth be told, if ignorance deterred opinion, the subject of this review might not need to exist.

Teenage Fanclub formed in 1989 and without C14 dating myself, they are a contemporary band that I confess to be a bit ashamed to have lived without. But from the opening cord of “Home” onward, Teenage Fanclub’s latest album, Endless Arcade, proved a brightly-lit collection that seems to radiate into a dimly-aware black-hole of a world spinning out of self-control. To counteract its miraculous escape from under the hellhole of an inertia from 2020, Teenage Fanclub seemed to wear a beaming veneer with just a bit more shine than they might have previously. It is then ironically and self-referentially circular to hear their lyrics still ruminate the cuds of personal conflicts, nostalgia, self-doubt, and falling apart, not the least by including a chipper number called “Everything is Falling Apart” with four-part harmony.

I cannot explain whatever reasons might have justified my expecting otherwise, really. Billy Connolly famously quipped about the ironic mystery of how he became a comedian with “We are a miserable lot. When the Sun comes out, we’d offer to pay for it”. Commiserations, then. Now the whole world knows intimately what it’s like to be tucked indoors because it’s shit both outside and in, while the only stability one has is between the ears, and even that wavers between alcohol and valium.

In an era when some view the scavenging and rhyming of “bottles”, “models”, and “poison arrows” from the OED before it is translated into BTS-ese as the pinnacle of their achievements, it is truly the mark of a purposefully universal dreamscape when the only definitive, non-transposable nouns used in an album appears to be Dionysus, and “in a deadly decline” at that. Is that a long enough sentence to draw the ire of our resident grammarian? I don’t know. While the whole album can be taken as one continuous entity, singling out “The Sun Won’t Shine”, “In Our Dreams”, “Back in the Day”, and “I’m More Inclined” is a simple task, but that’s just because of my melodic preferences.

Had this album not been waved in front of my face in a Zoom chat one Friday night, prompting a search for “pink green record”, I might have lived the rest of my life without being a Teenage fanboy. I don’t know how this highly appreciated happy accident put the universe on the track it is now. But just drop the needle somewhere and while you recline, Dionysus will show the way.

Song Of The Day: Blushing – Blame (feat. Miki Berenyi)

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While there’s certainly no shortage of shoegaze-inspired bands out there right now, to my mind, one of the best modern shoegaze outfits is Austin’s Blushing. And with their latest single “Blame,” the band now has a direct connection to the original ’80s/’90s scene in the form of a guest appearance by none other than Lush frontwoman Miki Berenyi.

“Blame” is the lead single off of the band’s upcoming album Possessions, out Feb 18th 2022 on Kanine Records. Check out the video below.