Mon, Dec 9, 2013.
No new Canadian band is on a better roll than July Talk. 2013 has seen them shoot out like a rocket, their debut album and live shows winning them fans right across the country, especially here in the Maritimes. A summertime tour wowed folks from Fredericton to Halifax, and somewhat surprisingly, the Toronto band is headed back here for another round of shows this week. They've already sold out Halifax's famous Seahorse, and added a matinee show a couple of doors away at the Carleton to keep up with demand. Normally we only see bands come through for one show when they release something new, but there's too much good blood between the band and the fans here.
Peter Dreimanis is co-lead singer with the group, and has nothing but great things to say about the previous dates in the province. "Moncton's a crazy place, the last time we played there (at Plan B), I think the whole audience was shirtless by the end of it. And Fredericton's an awesome town, I can't wait to get back to the Capitol, that's a great spot. I don't know anyone who wouldn't be able to feel at home out east. It's getting harder to leave each time. I hope some day we can make an album there."
Aww, nice words! There's lots of buzz about the group's return this week, and they're coming with new material as well. Their self-titled debut has been reissued with four extra cuts, songs that were written just after the album's release, and that strengthened the group's desire to head east again. "Before we even went to the Maritimes for the first time, we knew it was going to be a kind of home for us," says Dreimanis. "It's been a race to get back as soon as we could. We've been touring so much, and at first our agent said, 'Do you want to have a break?' And that sounded good, but then we talked about it and realized if we were going to put out this new material, we needed to see our friends again right away. Before you go and set foot in the venue, to know it's sold out is so cool. It's really important for us to feel at home, and we know there's the opportunity to have a special time."
With four solid new cuts recorded, July Talk had the choice of holding onto them for the next album, or getting them out in a quicker way. In the end, the songs felt more like the early effort, so the decision was made to relaunch the debut. "We decided to change the artwork, put the new songs on it," explains Dreimanis. "Our first record kinda served as a handshake, an introduction. And because we had done so much touring, we had been playing these songs live. And we felt like we should just get them out on that record. A lot of people who have seen us live will already know them. The four new songs capture the live energy on stage. It felt right to keep them with the other songs, they're part of it."
As for a new album, that work will start in January with a writing session for the band, with the hopes of a release at some point in 2014. Catch July Talk at The Capitol Complex Thursday, Dec. 12 in Fredericton, and Friday, the 13th the band will be back at Plan B in Moncton.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).