Album Review: Tallies by Tallies (2019) (Hand Drawn Dracula / Kanine Records)

The band/labels got things very right when they released the superlative Mother (see below) as the pre-order single, as it ended up on several 2018 ‘best of’s’ in blog/zine world (including ours). More importantly it promised the world.

Whether the entire album delivers on this promise depends entirely upon your attitude to jangle-pop. One zine I have read dismisses the album ‘as a wall of jangle-pop’. Meant as a criticism it is almost as if they believe that somewhere in a parallel universe there is the remote possibility that there are soulless specimens out there who might not see the shimmering chords and worn out pedals of the genre as the exact remedy to the travails of life? Bizarre!

Naturally, this blog may be more likely to celebrate such a ‘wall’ and delight in tracks such as Mother, Not So Proud and the stand out Beat the Heart (see above). These fall somewhere between 90’s The Sundays style fragile introspective indie-pop and the beautiful jangle-gaze type bands that are increasingly prevalent, such as The BV’s, Luxembourg Signal, LIPS and Massage.


Of course the critical acclaim surrounding the pre-release singles suggests that there is something different than merely a pastiche of all things indie-pop of yesterday and all things jangle-gaze of today and effectively this difference is twofold.

Initially, Tallies embrace the pop side of jangle-pop. The melodies and hooks on offer could quite easily appease even the most commercial of radio stations and coerce millions of spotty teens to scream for more. It might be infinitely cooler than what they might usually pledge their allegiance too and I may well be stretching the point a tad too far in my effort to express the sort of The Orielles / Alvvays global appeal that a track such as Midnight may have for the masses.

No photo description available.Similarly the voice of Sarah Corgan is deliciously vibrant, appealing, versatile and most important dominant, which can sometimes be difficult in dreamy jangle-pop sound where the guitar riffs often demand primary attention.

However, Corgan remains in total control, remains dominant and remains the primary party amid ‘the wall of jangle’. She is a joyous addition to the sort of jangle-pop front woman that can retain an elusive ‘cool edge’, whilst a beautiful cacophony surrounds them. Whilst more music needs to be released before she can truly be lined up as in the same league as the likes of Wendy Pickles, Susannah Hoofs, Harriett Wheeler, Beth Arzy…the potential is most certainly there.

Such a superb debut is unusual in modern times and as the jangle-pop genre continues it’s recent transformation into all things shoegaze it is good to see a young band pulling  hard on more traditional reins.

Artist Links:  BandcampFacebookTwitter

Label Links (Kanine Records):   BandcampFacebookTwitter,

Label Links (Hand Drawn Dracula):  FacebookTwitter, Bandcamp

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