You've seen it before.m You go to a show, the band dutifully plays its songs, note for note, and you realize you should've stayed home and listened to the record instead. There are many bands that do this. July Talk is not one of them.
Formed last year in Toronto, July Talk writes its blistering songs with a collaborative mindset---not just within the band, but also with the intention of interacting with audiences during shows. Co-frontperson Peter Dreimanis says he needs to make people feel engaged, even when the grind weighs heavily on the band. "I would die before playing an unenergetic show. The idea of sitting there and playing our songs like MTV Unplugged is really scary to me," he says. "The touring and the fatigue and the busy schedules and the van is out of gas and all these things pile up. But you get up on stage and turn on your Telecaster and everything just drops out."
A frenetic live show is not the only the draw---the dynamic between Dreimanis and Leah Fay resembles a sort of fever dream Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra backed by The Bad Seeds. Adding to that are the band's striking visuals, where posters, videos and even clothes adhere to a strict black and white aesthetic.
"We have a lot of fun presenting the visual side of our band," says Dreimanis. "We're not into colorful projections on us. It's much more about really clear, concise images."
The combination of thrilling songs and a fully-realized visual concept has been paying off. In the past year the band has released a self-titled debut record, toured twice and picked up fans and media attention along the way. But Dreimanis brings it back to his intimate relationship with the audience.
"All I can ever know are the people who came to our show, and the next time we come to their town they bring a few extra friends," he says. "That is growth to me."
July Talk w/Christine Campbell
Monday, July 22, 9pm
July Talk w/Adam Baldwin
Tuesday, July 23, 9pm
The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, 1685 Argyle Street