July Talk- Touch (Sleepless Records/Island, 2016)
It would be inaccurate to say that July Talk have softened up since their self-titled 2012 debut album. While Touch isn’t as raw as its predecessor, that’s simply because the band is channeling their forceful energy in different ways—this time with the occasional disco beat behind them. The aggression is still there, it just has to make way for groove-heavy songs like “Now I Know” and hazy ballads like “Strange Habit.” Peter Dreimanis’ ashy growl is still there too, although Leah Fay isn’t quite as angelic as she was the first time around. The album’s overarching theme is one of emotional and physical loneliness, and the need for genuine human connection. The production could stand to be a bit more layered—the band is aggressive enough without always adhering to to the same uncomfortable volume. A slightly more mainstream effort overall, with just enough meat on its bones to warrant repeated listens.
Trial Track: “Push + Pull”