Tallies - Tallies - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tallies - Tallies

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2019-01-11
Tallies - Tallies
Tallies - Tallies

Having been described as a combination of “jingly guitar leads, and fluttery lighter-than-air vocals”, Tallies does an excellent job of channeling the best parts of alt-rock’s mid-’90s heyday into an infectious take on the tried-and-true ‘dream-pop’ formula. And while Tallies’ music features an appropriate mix of inventive guitar-work (Dylan Frankland) and a solid rhythm section (by way of drummer Cian O’Neill and bassist Stephen Pitman), the band’s secret weapon is clearly singer Sarah Cogan, whose unique voice consistently enhances and elevates Tallies’ self-titled debut.

The album-opening “Trouble” is a rousing blast of shimmering arpeggios that sets the stage perfectly for the bouncy, upbeat “Mother”, a song that feels like a lost b-side from the Sundays incomparable 1990 debut. From there, the acoustically-driven “Midnight” and the rambunctious “Have You” continue to reveal different sides of the band’s sound, while the album’s fifth track (“Not So Proud”) delivers one of the record’s strongest hooks.

While the band dutifully explores their ethereal side on the album’s front half, some of the record’s most surprising moments are lumped together on the B-side. Drum-driven, uptempo numbers like “Eden”, “Rocks”,  and the lead single “Beat The Heart” provide the album with some much-needed ‘rocked-out’ counterpoint. And despite the odd late-record trip-up (the drum-machine-pop of “Giving Up” is a rather forgettable moment), the epic, album-closing “Easy Enough” is yet another high point and provides the album with a confidently constructed conclusion.

Any way you choose to slice it Tallies debut is a fairly resounding success. Sure, there are moments where Tallies feels a bit ‘too’ familiar, but Sarah Cogan’s impassioned vocals and picturesque lyrics provide the album with just enough nuance to justify repeated listens. And even if the record’s greatest strength is in its ability to evoke shades of nostalgia, sometimes it’s hard to argue with the road most-traveled.

The bottom line: Tallie’s self-titled debut is a concise, breezy listen that never threatens to overstay its welcome. Highly recommended.

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