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Patina Review

by Marcy Donelson

With a winning eponymous debut in 2019 that not only recalled but seemed to summon the seductive, bittersweet jangle of bands like the Sundays, Lush, the Smiths, and at their most imposing, Cocteau Twins, Canada's Tallies landed a record deal with none other than Bella Union, a label curated by Cocteau Twins' Simon Raymonde. Their debut for the label, Patina, delivers another high-quality set of infectious, subtly varied, vintage indie/dream pop for tuneful ears and stirring souls. They start things off with the archaically title "No Dreams of Fayres," a bright, midtempo dive into reverb-drenched guitars, bouncy rhythms, and singer Sarah Cogan's pixie-esque delivery and levitating melodies. The latter guide listeners in and back out of a tension-filled key change and through alliteration like "scrunched," "crashes," and "aches." The band soon pick up the tempo on poppy album highlight "Hearts Underground," then add washes of feedback and noise on the swirling rocker "Wound Up Right" and drift into psychedelia on the slower, dreamier "Heavens Touch," which further paints an opaque scene with lines like "Can’t see through your darkness/The shadows of your storm/And I run through the smog." Most of the rest of Patina lands elsewhere on the same musical Venn diagram, rarely if ever abandoning melodicism while only occasionally directly evoking inspirations (the "This Charming Man"-like guitar riffs of "Am I the Man"). Recording credits of note: the Ocean Blue's Peter Anderson contributed percussion to the album, and Patina was produced by Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh, who previously worked with bands including METZ and Alvvays.

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