It’s the year 2019, the month is January, the post-festive booze-blues are fully ensconced, those new clothes already applying the squeeze and the media messages continue with their misery and malevolence. So far so 2018 …

Colour and light are required to beat the seasonal S.A.D.ness within/without the window. Right on cue come Canada’s Tallies with these sonic tonics/aural tocsins.

In 1973 the novelist Harold Bloom wrote ‘The Anxiety of Influence’ a treatise on the pressure felt by artists in their attempts at being inspired without relying too much on prior artistic consumption, the past can hang ominously in the act of creation.

Clearly aware of this, Tallies derive inspiration and divining perspiration from such luminaries as the Sarah Records C86 coterie, The Sundays, Cocteau Twins, 10,000 Maniacs and The Smiths, the album’s vox from Sarah Cogan also has touches of Juliana Hatfield’s vulnerable intensity and Kristen Hersh’s intense vulnerability. If you’re going to aim high, go to the summit.

‘Trouble’ has more than a hint of Hersh’s harsh muse throwing, a portentous omen wrapped up in sweet, but, never saccharine, pop.

‘Mother’ is a Johnny Marr-velous jingle-jangle jamboree (Dylan Frankland's finger-licks and riffing a joy, Cian O'Neil and Stephen Ptman's backbeating a sturdy spine-tingling structure), ‘Mother knows best’ the mantra, as the titular matriarch forewarns of a malevolent male: as she heeds ‘It’s not safe, it’s not safe, just don’t lean on me tomorrow’ as only the protective bosom can threaten.

Melody calls as the malady falls on ‘Midnight’, a melancholic bucolic ode to the end of one day the onset of another … better one. Maybe. ‘Trains in snow’ is superlative fuzz-shimmer, a bliss-blizzard of ethereal echoes from the other side of the tracks.

This a sign of the times state of relations address that incorporates the travails of inter-personal interaction and the yearning-learning curves within the passages of time. The album cover reminds of New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies albeit fragrant bloom is replaced by deathly doom in the form of dead roses, a visual representation of the album’s environmental warning sign the swooning and mooning ‘Giving Up’.

If ‘talent borrows, genius steals’ as per Oscar Wilde’s maxim, Tallies are wanted for the highest form of larceny.

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